Report: Randolph linked to drug bust

A longtime friend of Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph

faces drug charges after Indianapolis police said they found him

driving the NBA star’s sport utility vehicle with a cooler

containing marijuana.

Arthur Boyd, 32, was arrested after police investigated an

informant’s tip that Randolph was involved with Indianapolis-area

drug dealers, according to court documents. Boyd has pleaded not

guilty to charges of possessing and dealing marijuana.

Randolph, who was not in the vehicle, has not been arrested and

“adamantly denies” any involvement with drug activity, his

attorney, John Tompkins, said Thursday. Tompkins dismissed the

allegations, saying informants are “notorious liars.”

The Memphis Grizzlies said in a statement Thursday that the

organization was backing its All-Star forward for now, and that he

has embraced hard work and leadership while in Memphis, Tenn.

“Unless some other information surfaces, Zach remains a valued

member of the Grizzlies family and Memphis community,” General

manager Chris Wallace said.

A probable cause affidavit filed in Marion County Superior Court

said Randolph was a “financier” for known drug dealers and supplied

individuals with marijuana, vehicles and a suburban Indianapolis

home where they could live.

Investigators consider the informant credible and “reliable,”

according to the affidavit, but Indianapolis police said Randolph

is not currently the target of an active investigation.

“The investigation has basically been associated with Arthur

Boyd and it just so happens that Boyd has access to his

(Randolph’s) vehicles,” said Lt. Jeff Duhamell.

Police have impounded four cars owned by Randolph, including the

one Boyd was driving before his May 11 arrest and three others that

officers found in Randolph’s rented storage lockers while executing

a search warrant.

Possible drug residue was found in one vehicle and is being

analyzed, Duhamell said.

Boyd was pulled over by police for a traffic infraction in

Randolph’s 2008 Cadillac Escalade as officers followed him from an

Indianapolis home, which the informant said was a marijuana

distribution point, investigators said.

Inside the SUV, officers found 90 grams of marijuana divided

into bags in a cooler on the floor behind the driver’s seat, an

empty suitcase that smelled of marijuana and ammunition in a hidden

compartment, the affidavit said.

A judge entered a not guilty plea on Boyd’s behalf during an

initial hearing, and Boyd was released on $5,000 bond after a

hearing May 19, said attorney David Hooper.

Tompkins, Randolph’s attorney, said Boyd has been friends with

Randolph for several years and runs errands for him. Boyd also

takes care of the basketball star’s suburban Indianapolis home

during the NBA season, Tompkins said.

Randolph is from the city of Marion, northeast of

Indianapolis.

Randolph spent the first six seasons of his eight-year NBA

career in Portland. He later played for the New York Knicks and Los

Angeles Clippers, who traded him to Memphis in July. The move to

Memphis revitalized his career. Randolph played in 81 games and had

his best game with 31 points and 25 rebounds against the Knicks on

Feb. 27.

He was questioned but not charged in an August 2004 nightclub

shooting that left three people wounded in Indiana. His brother,

Roger, was sentenced to three years in prison in a plea deal.

Randolph’s past troubles also have included an arrest for

driving under the influence of intoxicants after a police officer

said he smelled marijuana in Randolph’s car and a practice fight in

which he broke former teammate Ruben Patterson’s eye socket.