Browns rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway pleaded not guilty Sept. 27 to misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, his attorney, Kevin Spellacy, confirmed Tuesday for the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com.
The case will transfer from Strongsville Mayor’s Court, where Callaway had been scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, to Berea Municipal Court. Spellacy said Callaway’s next court date has yet to be scheduled.
Spellacy said he’s still trying to get the marijuana charge dismissed.
“He’s emphatic that he did not possess marijuana,” Spellacy said of Callaway, a fourth-round draft pick who has 10 catches for 155 yards and one touchdown this season.
Strongsville Police Officer Eric Schubert wrote in an incident report that he stopped Callaway at 2:59 a.m., Aug. 5, near SouthPark Mall for failing to yield to oncoming traffic. Schubert reported he found a small amount of marijuana under the driver’s seat and that Callaway had a suspended license.
In a dash cam video, Callaway said his car had just been shipped from Florida to Ohio and he didn’t know marijuana was in it. One of the officers on the scene of the traffic stop could be heard on video saying Callaway “claimed his little brother who smokes dope was using the car.”
Spellacy has said the piece of marijuana that police found was .05 grams, it didn’t belong to Callaway and Callaway didn’t know it was in the car. Spellacy has provided the prosecutor with documentation to show the car came from Florida via transport approximately three days before his client was pulled over.
Spellacy has said Callaway had a traffic violation in Florida that he resolved prior to being pulled over in Strongsville, but the paperwork hadn’t been processed until after the traffic stop in Northeast Ohio and his license wasn’t valid as a result.
“The paperwork just didn’t catch up,” Spellacy said. “But he’s got a valid license now.”
In connection to the marijuana charge, Callaway could face discipline under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
A failed drug test by way of a diluted sample this past winter at the NFL Scouting Combine put Callaway into the league’s substance-abuse program, which states players in stage one who have a violation will be subject to a fine equaling three-seventeenths of their base salary and entrance into stage two of the program upon notification by the medical director. Callaway’s 2018 base salary is $480,000, so he could be fined $84,705.