Another professional athlete has been found guilty of drug use, but it is not steroids or performance enhancing drugs of any kind.
Chris Perez, a 28-year-old closing pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, was arrested and charged with marijuana possession and drug abuse, a fourth degree misdemeanor. His wife, Melanie, is apparently also in on the deal. The couple had a package of the drug sent from Los Angeles, addressed to their dog, Brody Baum, that Melanie signed for and confirmed was in fact for the family pet. The dog was given her maiden name of Baum, seemingly as a way to avoid publicity, recognition, or any trackable evidence to the Perez family.
What Exactly Happened?
A postal worker sorting through his bulk of packages to deliver that day smelled marijuana coming from this particular parcel. Under guidance from his supervisor, the two contacted a postal inspector, who opened the package to find a 6-ounce bag of the drug. The package was then resealed, and an undercover officer made the delivery. Melanie signed and the couple went to lunch and a movie, leaving their two children with a babysitter.
Police officers were searching the home when the couple returned, and along with the bag of marijuana, officers seized several forms of paraphernalia: pipes, bongs, and papers stored in a basement kitchen. Chris Perez took ownership of everything and plead no contest to the charges filed against him.
What is Next For This Professional Athlete?
Municipal Judge, Brian Hagan, found Chris Perez guilty and sentenced him to probation for a year, a $250 fine, a 15-20 minute presentation on the dangers of drug use at the Rocky River High School in Cleveland, and mandated enrollment in the Major League Baseball’s drug treatment program.
To explain his stance, Judge Hagan said to Chris Perez, “You’re highly regarded, kids look up to you, but you made a big mistake. I hope that through your efforts you can deter someone else from making that same mistake.”
Perez’s defense attorney, Terry Gilbert, reports that Chris is already participating in the MLB’s drug treatment program, that is reportedly “very rigorous” and subjects him to ongoing, random drug tests.
What About Her?
As for his wife, Melanie, she also entered a plea for minor drug possession. If a hair follicle drug screen comes back negative, she will be required to pay a $50 fine, but not have a year of probation. If the test is positive, it seems she will face the larger fine and full length of probation, much like her husband’s sentence.
Consequences For Change?
Will this be enough to stop this couple, who are parents to young children, from smoking marijuana? The drug does not have the same potential ramifications as stronger, more intense drugs that lead to physical and psychological dependence, addiction, risk of death, etc. but marijuana is illegal and can still lead to adverse life consequences.
For people who have become accustomed to using drugs on any level, the risk of needing to hit a “rock bottom” is common before change is seen as necessary. Hopefully this event, and getting clean in the MLB’s drug treatment program, will be what Chris Perez, and his wife, need to realize that, as a role model for their own children and for the millions of kids who look up to professional athletes, drugs cannot be part of their lives.
If you, or someone you care about, is choosing a lifestyle of drug use, you can intervene to help facilitate the process of recovery. You can contact the staff at Balboa Horizons to find out more.
Photo Credit: Keith Alliso