A Brigham Young University football player has pleaded guilty in Millard County Justice Court to driving with a measurable amount of a controlled substance.
Tacoma Fontaine, who recently participated in spring drills and was projected to be a top receiver, entered the plea to the class B misdemeanor Monday before Judge Ronald Hare in Fillmore. Two other misdemeanor counts - possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia - were dismissed by prosecutors.Two other BYU football players, Tony Fields and Danny Robinson, also appeared before Hare on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Hearings for both Fields and Robinson were postponed, although new dates have not been set.
Fontaine was placed on probation for 18 months. He was ordered not to use drugs, maintain a job and pay a fine of $550, Hare said.
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped a Chevy S-10 Blazer with the three men inside Saturday about 5 p.m. on I-15 near Meadow, said UHP Lt. Verdi White II. The trooper suspected that the vehicle's windows were tinted too darkly, he said.
"During the course of the traffic stop, the trooper had reason to believe he could smell marijuana and, in fact, did find marijuana," White said.
A small plastic bag and three cigars filled with marijuana were recovered from the vehicle, and the three occupants were immediately booked into the Millard County Jail. The players told the UHP trooper they were on their way to visit family in Las Vegas.
As far as their future status at BYU, the players will undergo the same procedures as other students at the school.
"The Honor Code Office is aware of the situation and will be reviewing each case," said BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins.
Fontaine enrolled at BYU in January from Ranger (Texas) Junior College. Robinson, a redshirt freshman out of Boulder (Colo.) High, is a backup linebacker for the Cougars.
Fields, a senior who came to Provo from Victor Valley JC in California, was a backup cornerback who saw significant action last season as a special teams player. He was the driver in a one-car accident last September that killed teammate Terrence Harvey. The crash took place on northbound I-15 as Fields, Harvey and another teammate, Roderick Foreman, were returning to Provo from Springville, where the players had met with a BYU professor.
According to the UHP, Fields lost control of his sport utility vehicle while trying to switch lanes to avoid a collision with a car merging onto the interstate. The vehicle the players were traveling in flipped several times and Harvey was ejected from the car. Fields, who was not seriously injured, was driving an estimated 90 mph when the accident took place, but no charges were filed.
The latest incident involving Fontaine, Fields and Robinson comes on the heels of charges filed against BYU basketball star Ron Selleaze for illegal drug possession. In the past few months, several Cougar athletes have made headlines for violating the Honor Code and being embroiled in legal troubles.
"This is a matter of great concern to the administration," said Jenkins of the rash of BYU players having brushes with the law. "It is serious."