- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2001

MIAMI (AP) Federal agents searched O.J. Simpson's home for more than six hours yesterday as part of an investigation into an Ecstasy drug ring also suspected of laundering money and stealing satellite-TV equipment.

Nine persons were arrested in Miami and two in Chicago as part of Operation X, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said. Simpson was not among those arrested, and the FBI refused to discuss why he was involved.

Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, said no drugs or large amounts of money were found at the home and that his client had done nothing wrong.

He said two boxes removed from the home contained legal satellite-television equipment.

"I can assure you Mr. Simpson does not have enough money in his pocket or in his bank account to be involved in a money-laundering ring," Mr. Galanter told reporters.

He said Simpson's only connection to the case was that his name was mentioned in a phone conversation involving some members of the ring that was taped by federal authorities.

He said Simpson had no involvement in the ring, didn't believe he knew the people involved and didn't know why his name was mentioned.

Nine other homes in Miami also were searched by authorities.

Simpson was at home when agents arrived at 6 a.m. In video shot by a helicopter during the search, the former football star could been seen in his back yard wearing a white bathrobe and playing with his dogs.

About two hours later, Simpson left alone in his sport utility vehicle without speaking to reporters. He later declined comment.

Miss Orihuela said the drug ring imported Ecstasy from the Netherlands and stole equipment used to counterfeit cards that activate satellite-TV receivers. She said the ring laundered about $800,000 and that a suspected ringleader remained at large, probably in Brazil.

Simpson moved to Florida from California after a civil court jury ordered him to pay $33.5 million for the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles. He earlier had been cleared of criminal charges.

It wasn't Simpson's first brush with the law since he moved to the Kendall neighborhood 15 miles southwest of Miami. He was acquitted in October of grabbing another driver's glasses and scratching the man's face during a road-rage argument.

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