Suspended Penn State defensive linemen Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma have been charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana, said university spokeswoman Lisa Powers. According to the criminal complaint, the charge is an ungraded misdemeanor.
The players will be issued a summons through the mail and will be ordered to appear before a magisterial district court judge. Powers said that Judge Carmine Prestia signed the charges around 1 p.m. today.
In this type of ungraded misdemeanor -- the violation of using a small amount of marijuana for personal use -- the maximum sentence is up to 30 days imprisonment or up to a $500 fine or both. According to Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira, his office will proceed as it normally does with crimes of this magnitude. Usually, he said, a typical resolution for those without prior convictions is a probationary sentence or participation in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.
"We're going to handle this like we would any other case," Madeira said.
Team spokesman Jeff Nelson said the team and coach Joe Paterno have no comment. Nelson doesn't anticipate there being one before Saturday's game against Temple. Evans and Koroma, both starters, have been suspended for two games and are likely to miss this game, too.
On the evening of Sept. 2, Penn State police said they found a small amount of marijuana at the on-campus residence of Evans and Koroma. According to the search warrant, signed by Prestia, tight end Andrew Quarless and cornerback A.J. Wallace also live at the Nittany Apartments residence. Quarless and Wallace have not been charged and have played since the incident.
The marijuana seized was estimated at less than two grams by Capt. Bill Moerschbacher of the Penn State police department. A team source told The Inquirer two weeks ago, that marijuana "residue" was found in the bedrooms of Evans and Koroma.
According to the complaint, a "burnt roach containing marijuana" was found in Koroma's room and "three, small clear baggies containing marijuana" and a "burnt roach containing marijuana" was found in the room of Evans.
As far as university matters go, Powers said the Office of Judicial Affairs will conduct its own investigation before deciding whether the students violated the school's code of conduct.
"Their status as students remains the same until OJA concludes its investigation," Powers said. "Because the charges do not involve an act of violence, there is no immediate change in their status as students."
Check tomorrow's Inquirer for more.