A routine traffic stop in Texas on the evening of Dec. 3 led to drug possession and tampering charges for a National Football League star. Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Antwaun Woods faces a felony count of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. He has also been charged with possessing drug paraphernalia. In addition to criminal sanctions, the 26-year-old athlete faces the possibility of a long suspension from the NFL. He is widely considered to be one of the game’s best interior run defenders.

According to a Frisco Police Department report, officers pulled Woods over on U.S. Route 380 at approximately 9:15 p.m. after allegedly seeing his vehicle change lanes without signaling and exceed the posted speed limit. When they approached his car, officers say that Woods seemed disorientated and had glassy eyes. Officers also claim to have noticed the smell of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle.

Police say that the odor prompted them to search the car. This search allegedly led to the discovery of a marijuana cigarette floating inside an open bottle of water in the center console. Woods is said to have admitted to the officers that he extinguished the marijuana when he noticed their police car. This is what led to the tampering charge. Police also claim to have discovered a backpack inside the vehicle that contained about 2 ounces of marijuana and several items of drug paraphernalia. Woods is the second Cowboys player taken into custody on drug charges in the last two months.

The U.S. Constitution gives individuals who are questioned or detained by police officers the right to remain silent and consult with an attorney. Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise those facing drug charges to avail themselves of these rights. Cooperating with prosecutors may lead to reduced charges or a more lenient sentence, but confessions made to police officers might make matters worse.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, Cowboys NT Antwaun Woods arrested on marijuana, evidence-tampering charges, Michael Gehlken, Dec. 5, 2019