Prosecutors allege 'significant' marijuana found with arrested Notre Dame football players

Christian Sheckler
South Bend Tribune

ROCHESTER — Police found what they called a "significant" amount of marijuana and a loaded handgun in plain sight during the traffic stop that led to the arrests of five Notre Dame football players, according to documents filed by Fulton County prosecutors.

Probable-cause affidavits offered more details about the Aug. 19 traffic stop as three of the five players appeared in court Tuesday morning for their initial hearings.

Safety Floyd "Max" Redfield, who was dismissed from the team, is charged with misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of a handgun and possession of marijuana.

The other four —Te'Von Coney, Kevin Stepherson, Ashton White and Dexter Williams — are each charged with a single misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

Coney, Redfield and Stepherson each appeared in person Tuesday in Fulton Superior Court in Rochester.

The incident started just after 10 p.m. Aug. 19 along U.S. 31, after an Indiana State Police trooper stopped the 2007 Ford Focus for having an improper taillight and going 73 mph in a 60-mph zone.

During the stop, police found a loaded 9 mm handgun between Redfield's legs on a rear floorboard, according to the affidavits. Two baggies of marijuana also were found on a rear floorboard, and police found what they described as a significant amount of loose marijuana throughout the front seat area.

The documents did not indicate the exact quantity of the marijuana, but any amount of 30 grams or more would result in a Level 6 felony charge, rather than the lower-level misdemeanor charges against the players.

Coney also was found with a counterfeit Illinois driver's license, prosecutors alleged.

All five players initially denied that they knew about the gun, telling police they believed a friend had left it in the car, according to the documents. An Indiana State Police trooper found the weapon was loaded with 13 hollow-point cartridges.

Redfield, Stepherson and Williams each were initially arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of a handgun, but only Redfield was charged with the offense Monday.

All the players admitted to having the marijuana, according to the documents. They told police they were on their way to see friends in Bloomington.

Judge Wayne E. Steele on Tuesday entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Coney, Redfield and Stepherson.

Coney is scheduled for a pre-trial conference Oct. 12, while Redfield and Stepherson are each set to appear for pre-trial conferences Oct. 19.

Ashton White and Dexter Williams filed motions to waive their initial hearings. Their next scheduled appearances will be pre-trial conferences. Dates had not been set Tuesday morning.

Notre Dame football players (clockwise from top left) Ashton White, Dexter Williams, Kevin Stepherson, Te'Von Coney, and Max Redfield. (Photos provided)
Max Redfield walks into the Fulton County Courthouse, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Rochester. Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ
Te'Von Coney walks into the Fulton County Courthouse, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Rochester. Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ
Kevin Stepherson walks into the Fulton County Courthouse, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Rochester. Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ