UGA wide receiver arrested on marijuana charge during traffic stop

11:12 a.m. Monday, March 13, 2017 UGA / DawgNation
Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.co
Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley had 12 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman last season.

ATHENS -- Georgia receiver Riley Ridley was arrested along with one other person for misdemeanor marijuana possession on Saturday night, after the two were pulled over by Athens-Clarke County police on a traffic stop. Ridley subsequently told police that he had bought and consumed the marijuana earlier that day, according to the arrest report.

Ridley, from Deerfield Beach, Fla., was arrested at 10:05 p.m. on Saturday, and bailed out on $1,000 bond at 12:32 a.m. Sunday. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is listed as the arresting agency.

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Officer Chase Pate of the ACCPD wrote that he pulled over a white Camaro after it failed to yield at the intersection of Baxter and Alps Road. Ridley was a passenger in the vehicle driven by a 22-year-old female.

Pate wrote that “the odor of raw marijuana was present and coming from the window,” and then requested a backup officer. During that time, “Ridley explained that he was an athlete and he requested to call someone to help the traffic stop ‘go a whole lot smoother,’ ” the officer wrote. 

When the backup officer arrived they conducted a search of the vehicle and found “multiple small bags of marijuana.”  

Ridley then told the officer that the driver had not consumed anything, she was just anxious about the traffic stop. The officer then wrote that Ridley made “several comments implying that the results of the traffic stop were going to hurt his career as an athlete.” 

When Ridley was advised of his Miranda rights, he agreed to speak with police regarding the incident.

“Ridley explained that he and [the driver] had smoked marijuana earlier in the day before going to Six Flags over Georgia,” officer Pate wrote. “They had bought the marijuana in Florida near his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale. During the course of my investigation it was discovered that marijuana was located in the passenger side door near the speaker. Initially Turner stated that all of the marijuana was (hers) but later retracted that statement.”

Property found at the scene included a “green leafy substance in a bag,” a burnt marijuana cigarette and a grinder.

Per UGA’s student-athlete handbook, a marijuana arrest calls for a suspension of 10 percent of a player’s season, and in football’s case that would be one game. There could be extenuating circumstances that apply, but the head coach does not have the discretion to simply overrule it.

Ridley, a rising sophomore, had 12 catches for 238 yards and two touchdowns last season, and is expected to have a bigger role this season.

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