ST. LOUIS — Denver Broncos running back Laurence Maroney has been arrested in St. Louis on drugs and weapons allegations. His publicist said Tuesday that he did nothing wrong.
St. Louis police said five people in an Infiniti Q56 were arrested Monday night. Police declined to name the suspects but said all five are accused of possessing marijuana. Three, including a 25-year-old man, were accused of unlawful use of a weapon. Maroney, 25, is a native of suburban St. Louis. No one has been formally charged.
Maroney’s publicist, Jane Higgins, confirmed that he was one of those arrested in the Infiniti on the weapons allegation. She denied Maroney was arrested for drugs.
“He holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon,” Higgins said in a statement. “He was not arrested for any drugs nor was he involved in a high-speed chase. He was released without being charged with any offense and we do not anticipate he will be charged with any criminal offense.”
Police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said one of the men had a valid concealed weapon permit but that state law prohibits possessing a gun while under the influence of drugs. She declined to elaborate.
Van Ross said the process of seeking charges could take up to a month.
Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said, “We’re aware of the matter but have no additional comment at this time.”
Van Ross said that around 10:30 p.m. Monday, officers saw three vehicles near Chaifetz Arena causing traffic to slow because the vehicles repeatedly stopped so occupants could talk to people on the street. Officers also suspected those in the vehicles were smoking marijuana.
Officers pulled over the Infiniti and a GMC Yukon; the third vehicle fled.
Van Ross said that inside the Infiniti officers found three weapons – a .45-caliber handgun, a 9mm pistol and a .223 -caliber rifle – along with a substance believed to be marijuana. Five of the six people in the Infiniti were arrested and released pending application of warrants, Van Ross said.
Five other people were in the Yukon. One of them, a 28-year-old man, was arrested for being a felon in possession of a weapon.
New England chose Maroney with the 21st overall pick in the 2006 draft. He was acquired by former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for a fourth-round draft pick on Sept. 14, one of several personnel miscalculations that helped lead to McDaniels’ Dec. 6 ouster.
Maroney was injured when he arrived in Denver and played in just four games for the Broncos, rushing 36 times for 74 yards and a paltry 2.1-yard average. He didn’t play in the final 10 games of the season, the last eight of which he was deactivated.
The running back spent his first four seasons with the Patriots, where he averaged 4.2 yards a carry with 21 touchdown runs and 10.2 yards per catch with one TD reception. His best season was 2009, when he set career highs with 194 carries and nine touchdowns.
He is in the final year of his contract, and his future with the Broncos is uncertain.
Maroney’s arrest is the latest in a series of legal troubles involving Broncos players.
Linebacker D.J. Williams was stripped of his captaincy following his second drunken driving arrest last season, rookie cornerback Perrish Cox faces charges in a sexual assault case, and rookie linebacker Kevin Alexander was waived hours after he was arrested on a domestic violence allegation last month.
Maroney was a standout at Normandy High School in St. Louis County, and has remained active in the St. Louis community during his NFL career. Recently, he has been helping victims of a New Year’s Eve tornado that struck the area where he grew up. And last summer, he gave out 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to St. Louis students.
AP sports writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver provided information for this report.