Mitchell Fined $150 For Traffic Charges

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell paid a $150 fine on Thursday to settle charges stemming from a traffic stop in Forrest City late last month, according to a spokesperson with the St. Francis County District Court.

The spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, said Mitchell appeared in court on Thursday and paid the fine before leaving.

Mitchell was pulled over in Forrest City on June 30, and during the stop, an Arkansas state police officer found a gun, drug paraphernalia and what was believed to be a small amount of marijuana in Mitchell's car.

The senior wasn't arrested, but he was cited for improper display of tags, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm. He had a permit for the small caliber gun in his car.

The court spokesperson said the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was amended to one count of possession of an instrument of crime. All of Mitchell's other citations were merged into that lone charge.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Tuesday that Mitchell informed him immediately of the traffic stop. It's uncertain if Petrino will punish the defensive tackle for the incident.

"He was issued a citation; he wasn't arrested," Petrino said. "I was concerned over what was on the citation, but we do need to let the judicial system run its course."

Mitchell is the seventh Arkansas player to get into trouble with the law since March.

He recorded 65 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks while starting 11 games as a junior last season. He's expected to be Arkansas' starting nose tackle despite recovering from a serious knee injury that kept him out of spring practice.

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