Perez pleads not guilty in pot case

Cleveland Indians two-time All-Star closer Chris Perez and his
wife pleaded not guilty Monday to misdemeanor possession charges
after marijuana was mailed to their home in their dog’s name.

The pleas were sent by fax to suburban Rocky River Municipal
Court by their attorneys.

The faxed pleas included a request that a requirement that the
couple appear in person for a June 19 arraignment be dropped.

Police said they were tipped off by postal inspectors to
suspicious packages mailed to the Perez home and arranged a
delivery last Tuesday under surveillance. Police say Melanie Perez
accepted two packages.

Authorities say Melanie Perez, whose maiden name is Baum, told
the undercover officer delivering the packages that they were
intended for her dog, named Brody. The package was addressed to
Brody Baum.

According to investigative reports, Perez told drug agents with
a search warrant that he had pot for personal use and pointed out
two jars. Asked about any drugs or weapons by officers who went to
the Perez home, Perez “volunteered to direct the officers to the
location of it,” an investigative report said.

The 27-year-old Perez and his 29-year-old wife were charged
Friday with misdemeanor drug possession involving just over
one-third of a pound of marijuana. Perez and his wife were released
on personal bond.

Outside legal experts say the charge typically is handled like a
traffic ticket and might result in a fine.

Under the drug agreement between Major League Baseball and its
players’ association, marijuana offenses generally result with the
player undergoing a treatment program rather than discipline.

Perez has six saves this season but is on the disabled list with
an injured right shoulder.

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