Taylor Charged On 'State Felony' Drug Charge

RB Ramonce Taylor was charged Monday morning with possession of marijuana "under five pounds", a state jail felony, according to Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith. If convicted, Taylor faces a jail sentence of up to two years and a $10,000 fine.

Taylor was released from the Bell County Law Enforcement Center in Belton just after 12 p.m., Monday. Bond was set at $5,000 by Judge Martha Trudo, 264th Judicial District. A lab analysis determined that the total weight of the marijuana was "over four ounces" but "under five pounds." A weight of more than "five pounds" would constitute a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

According to the Bell County Sheriff's Office, deputies received a report of "a large fight involving as many as 100 people" at a pecan farm on Highway 95 in Little River, Texas at approximately 1:34 a.m., Sunday. While en route, deputies received a call from Taylor who alleged that he had been at the fight and had sustained a broken window on his vehicle. While interviewing Taylor, deputies received information from other officers at the scene of the fight that Taylor had been involved and threatened to return with a firearm. Deputies were also told that Taylor might be armed. At this point, Taylor was handcuffed and questioned, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Taylor responded that he was not in possession of a weapon and gave deputies permission to search his vehicle. Deputies found a live 40 caliber round of ammunition in the center console of the vehicle; they also found a backpack containing a (then) undisclosed amount of marijuana, according to Smith's office.

Taylor's lawyer (Buck Harris) reportedly told The Dallas Morning News that the marijuana did not belong to Taylor. However, the Bell County Sheriff's Office said (in a statement) that "further investigation indicates that the backpack belongs to Ramonce Taylor." The report also indicates that Taylor "was cooperative" and did not resist at any time during the incident leading to his arrest.

There were two other (unidentified) individuals with Taylor during the arrest who were released at the scene. His vehicle was impounded and placed on investigative hold.

It was Taylor's second encounter with central Texas law enforcement officials since December. The Austin Police Department mentioned Taylor as a possible suspect in a December 10 incident in the downtown Sixth Street area and an assault involving a handgun on September 4. No charges were filed in either instance.

Texas coach Mack Brown "excused" Taylor from the football program on March 3 "for the rest of the semester so he can spend more time with his academics." On Sunday, Brown released the following statement: "Ramonce was excused from the team prior to the spring semester to focus on his academics and has not participated in any team functions since that time. We are aware of this recent situation and will follow it as the legal system runs its course. At this time, we will not consider reinstating him to the team."

Taylor logged five starts in 2005 (four at RB, one at WR) on the way to second-team All-Big 12 honors. He accounted for 513 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on 76 carries while adding 265 yards and three scores on 27 receptions during his sophomore campaign.

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