Jamal Lewis pleads not guilty through lawyers
By The Source
Aug 29, 2004

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Baltimore Ravens star running back Jamal Lewis was not in the court room for his arraignment on Friday, but pleaded not guilty through his lawyers on drug charges.

In February, federal drug conspiracy charges were issued against Lewis, and an additional charge of attempting to possess cocaine surfaced in August.

The NFL's leading rusher last season is scheduled to go to trial on November 1 in the middle of the 2004 season. The Ravens will be on the road at Philadelphia on October 31 and will host rival Cleveland in what could be a pivotal division game the following Sunday.

Lewis has been accused of trying to help a childhood friend buy up to 50 kilograms of cocaine in a deal that turned out to be part of an FBI sting operation in the summer of 2000.

The Pro Bowl running back was charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted on the first count, he could face a mandatory prison term of at least 10 years

In the newest filing, prosecutors gave a more detailed report of the allegations. Lewis allegedly took his friend, Angelo Jackson, to a restaurant to set up a cocaine buy. The 'seller' waiting there, however, was a government informant.

Lewis called the informant a few weeks later and requested that he sell Jackson about a kilogram of cocaine, according to the charges, which also include using a cell phone in the commission of a drug crime.

Last season, Lewis became the fifth player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards and amassed the second-highest single-season yardage total in NFL history (2,066 yards). He also broke the NFL's single-game rushing record with a 295-yard effort against Cleveland on September 14.

The University of Tennessee product was Baltimore's first-round pick in the 2000 draft (fifth overall), and rushed for 1,364 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV.

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