Ohio drug charge against Steelers’ Benny Snell withdrawn
A drug charge filed in an Ohio court against Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell was withdrawn, but the rookie could still face consequences under the NFL’s code of conduct.
Snell, who the Steelers selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft, admitted to smoking marijuana about 20 minutes before he was pulled over for speeding Aug. 30 on Route 250 in Harrison County, Ohio, according to a report released by the county’s sheriff’s office.
Snell, 21, of Westerville, Ohio, initially faced a drug charge after Deputy Nathan Stuckey found 2.74 grams of marijuana in a plastic baggie with a Star Wars logo on it that was in a bag on the passenger seat of the car, according to Stuckey’s report.
The drug charge was withdrawn, as is common practice in Ohio in cases involving small amounts of marijuana, according to Jack Felgenhauer, assistant prosecuting attorney for Harrison County.
“We are aware of the situation regarding Benny Snell, and we alerted the NFL Office when we learned of the incident,” Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement.
Using marijuana is against the NFL’s code of conduct, although both the league and players’ association have bandied about whether pot could be used by players to manage pain. The NFL didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Snell played in Monday’s game against the Miami Dolphins where he had 13 yards on 5 carries. He was sidelined with an injury late in the game and was being evaluated Tuesday, according to Coach Mike Tomlin.
Snell didn’t respond to messages seeking comment, nor did his attorney, Joseph Kunkel.
Kunkel had sought to have the records of the incident sealed, according to a report in the Harrison News-Herald. Kunkel didn’t show up at a hearing last week to consider the request, and it’s been rescheduled for December.
Snell’s black 2019 Mercedes Benz was clocked at 68 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to the report. He pleaded guilty to speeding. Snell paid $240 in fines and court costs, according to the county.
The deputy noticed a strong smell of marijuana during the traffic stop, and Snell initially said he had smoked pot about 20 minutes before the stop. Stuckey found the marijuana and an unloaded, properly licensed Glock handgun in a case in Snell’s car.
Harrison County is about 70 miles west of Pittsburgh.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .