Ravens' J. Lewis enters not guilty plea

OWINGS MILLS – In another stage leading up to Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis' impending federal drug conspiracy trial, his lawyers entered a not guilty plea Friday morning on an extra charge of attempting to possess cocaine as part of prosecutors' expanded indictment.

Lewis, 25, was practicing at the Ravens' training complex and wasn't required to appear. The trial is set for Nov. 1.

Lewis is free on a $500,000 bond and had previously pleaded not guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine and the use of a cellular phone in violation of federal law. Lewis' co-defendant, Angelo "Pero" Jackson did appear and also plead not guilty, the Associated Press reported.

The new charge was introduced by the government Aug. 17 as part of a superseding indictment in what's considered a common refinement of the original accusations.

The reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year is accused of attempting to broker a cocaine deal in the summer of 2000 for Jackson, a childhood friend.

When Lewis was indicted again during training camp, Ravens senior vice president of public relations Kevin Byrne said: "This is something that we can't control or Jamal can control at this time. There is a due process and he will get his day in court. Like we've said before, there are two sides to every story."

Aaron Wilson also writes for the Carroll County Times


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