As the Buccaneers traveled to the Baltimore-Washington airport following Sunday’s victory against the Redskins, they encountered an unexpected visit from federal drug agents.
The DEA did not target specific teams, but were done to measure whether visiting NFL organizations were in compliance with federal law concerning the transportation and distribution of medications such as pain pills. The investigations were prompted by a class-action lawsuit brought against the NFL by a group of former players who stated that pain medications like hydrocodone, oxycodone and Torodal were routinely handed out by teams trainers and staff members, as opposed to physicians and physicians assistants as mandated by federal law.
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith was not aware of the investigation prior to the brief delay.
“No I was not aware of anything,” said Smith. “We were excited about a big win, driving to the airport. We were stopped. I was told, our team was stopped along with others. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not targeted. They had some information they wanted to get from a part of our party, they were able to get that and we moved on from there.
“No distraction at all, at any level,” he continued. “I slept through a lot of it, like the rest of the team. It’s not an issue with us. I’m sure they had their reasons for carrying out those searches throughout the league, I might add. For us, it’s on to Chicago.”
Star players of yesterday’s game, Mike Evans and Danny Lansanah were also approached about the rare occurrence. While they we’re also unaware of the search, it didn’t seem to have any effect outside of postponing their trip home.
“I was trying to get off the bus and they wouldn’t let us get off the bus,” said Mike Evans. “I just thought it was random search or whatever.”
“I didn’t even know what was going on,” said Danny Lansanah. “I was just on the bus sitting there and sleeping. I didn’t know what was going on at all.”
Smith was more questions about the stop later during his Monday press conference.
“I assume that the DEA and everyone else are always investigating teams to make sure everybody is doing things the right way,” Smith said. “This is the first time this happened, so I assume that they’re just doing their job and hopefully they got all of their information that they want from all the teams in the league and you move on.
“We have a policy in place. Of course I’m not going to go over the policy right now, but we have a league policy in place that we feel pretty comfortable with and I’ll just leave it at that.”
The San Francisco 49ers went through the same process after leaving MetLife Stadium following their victory over the Giants.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
It just never ends with our “Big Brother” government. Maybe they should check a few black limousines and full size SUV’s cruising the streets of DC. What happened to probable cause?
Hope Akeem Spence didn’t have to eat some of his personal stash!!
PR, I’m liking this ProFootballTalkesque type of picture usage in your blog section stories. It’s one of my favorite parts of their website. First it was the Snoop pic and now this. I particularly like this pic…the female authority figure certainly caught my attention ;-). I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere in there relating to her and the Bucs getting searched by my wit is not what it used to be.
…that should read “…but my wit…”
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