NFL player arrested near Flomaton

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An NFL player from Navarre, Fla., was arrested Tuesday on drug charges after a traffic stop in southern Escambia County.

Trooper Kevin Cook, public information officer with the Alabama State Troopers, said that 22-year-old Akeem Spence was arrested by troopers at 11:35 a.m., during a traffic stop on Alabama Highway 113 at the 2 mile marker, near Flomaton.

Spence, who was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, was initially stopped for speeding at 100 mph in a 65-mph zone, Cook said.

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Cook said that when troopers approached Spence’s vehicle, they had reason to believe that illegal drugs were present, and deployed a drug-sniffing dog who detected marijuana. Spence, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, was transported to the Escambia County Jail.

Spence was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released at 2:18 p.m. Tuesday on a $3,000 bond, Cook said. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Spence recently completed his rookie season as a defensive tackle with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started 14 games, recording 29 tackles and a sack. He played previously at the University of Illinois and Fort Walton Beach High School.

“We will wait to get all the facts, but the initial reports are concerning and disappointing,” said Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith, in a statement. “I have spoken with Akeem and expressed my dissatisfaction with his involvement in this situation. As a member of the Buccaneers, he will be held to the high standards we have set for all members of this organization.”