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Florida high school football coach facing drug charges

Police in Florida have reported that the high school football coach and former NFL player Laroni Gallishaw was taken into custody on the evening of July 6 on narcotics charges. The 37-year-old retired athlete, who played for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2005 NFL season, was charged with marijuana and cocaine possession following a routine traffic stop in Lakeland.

According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report, Gallishaw's sedan was pulled over by deputies for having an expired registration. Deputies say that they became suspicious when they noticed the man behind the wheel make furtive movements. Deputies say that he appeared to be attempting to conceal an object between the vehicle's front seats. The deputies allege that Gallishaw then gave them permission to search his vehicle.

During the search, deputies say that they discovered a small amount of cocaine and a razor blade in one of the vehicle's cup holders. A further small quantity of cocaine and marijuana was found on Gallishaw when he was being processed at the Polk County Jail. In addition to the drug possession charges, Gallishaw faces counts of introducing contraband to a detention facility, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gallishaw was appointed head coach of the Tenoroc High School football squad in 2017.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise their clients to not give police officers permission to conduct warrantless searches unless they are certain that no evidence of illegal activity will be discovered. Attorneys could also urge prosecutors to show leniency to individuals accused of committing minor drug crimes who have no prior record of criminal behavior and face severe professional sanctions.

Source: Fox News 32, "Tenoroc high football coach, former NFL player arrested on drug charges", Staff report, July 7, 2018

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