More details are emerging on former Oakland Raider JaMarcus Russell's codeine possession bust Monday in Alabama. And if you thought that holding prescription-strength cough syrup is a lame excuse for a felony drug possession, you'll be even more surprised that police spent several months staking Russell out and orchestrating his arrest.
Russell was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance when police found codeine in his home. Codeine is typically used in conjunction with soda pop and Jolly Rancher candies to concoct a street drug known as "purple drank".
"JaMarcus Russell evidently has found even drugs that are fattening," quipped Dan LeBatard on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption."
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office in Alabama is giving out only a few details of the investigation that nabbed Russell, because the operation is still ongoing.
"(JaMarcus') name came up several times and his home location and so it's our duty as law enforcement to go investigate that."
We know this much -- Russell was not actually busted by the undercover cops. But the information leading the sheriff's office to knock on his door and arrest him did come from undercover police work.
Pardon the pun, but it sounds like they had a large body of evidence in Russell's case.
So the police had been aware of JaMarcus' recreational drug habits for some time. But had the Oakland Raiders been aware?
"You would hear it on and off but what I don't understand is, if it's true, why wasn't something done about it?" an anonymous Raider told the San Jose Mercury News. "You want to make him your franchise quarterback and pay him $39 million to (drank) off?."
We may never know whether Russell had actually shown any red flags indicating that he was using the narcotic ingredients in "purple drank".
But we do know there were several red flags that Russell was hitting the fruit-flavored candies pretty hard for a while.