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.