Three University of Utah students, including two football players, were named Friday in a nine-count federal criminal complaint that charges the trio with conspiracy to distribute nearly four pounds of cocaine.
Martel Black, a junior running back from San Diego, was charged with five cocaine trafficking counts and a single count each of selling marijuana, conspiracy and illegal weapons possession. Teammate Darren Hughes, a wide receiver from Lynwood, Calif., was charged with of three counts of cocaine distribution and a single conspiracy charge.Samuel Simmons, 18, Glenwood, Calif., also was charged with three cocaine distribution counts and one count each of conspiracy and weapons possession. All the men were ordered to surrender to federal authorities Tuesday afternoon for an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Ronald Boyce.
"Without a doubt, he (Black) will not be on the football team," Utah coach Jim Fassel said. "He's through at the University of Utah."
But he reserved comment on Hughes, who led Utah and was fifth in the WAC for kickoff returns.
From May 26 and July 12, the complaint said, Black, Hughes and Simmons allegedly sold an informant and an undercover drug agent a half-ounce of marijuana and 23 ounces of cocaine.
When Black, Simmons and three unindicted co-conspirators were arrested by University of Utah, Salt Lake City and federal Drug Enforcement Agency officers, the complaint alleges 2.2 pounds of cocaine also was found.
Federal prosecutors also claim Black and Simmons had a pump-action shotgun, a 9 mm. handgun and a .32-caliber pistol during the July 12 drug buy just before their arrest.
But three men arrested along with Black and Simmons last week were not named in the federal complaint, prosecutor Wayne Dance said. "Our review of the case at this time shows insufficient evidence to charge those individuals."
Simmons and Black face maximum possible penalties of 40 years in prison and $2 million in fines. Drug trafficking carries a minimum 5-year sentence, and both face an additional 5 years for firearms charges.
Each cocaine distribution and conspiracy count adds 20 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. The marijuana selling charge against Black is punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.