- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Gainesville Police Department launched an internal investigation late Friday into the quashing of an arrest warrant for a former University of Florida football star and current NFL draft prospect.

They Gainesville Sun (https://bit.ly/1lkuztt ) reported that University of Florida standout Loucheiz Purifoy was caught by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office in March with marijuana and the synthetic drug bath salts but was not arrested because he had agreed to cooperate with the drug taskforce. An arrest warrant was issued late Tuesday after investigators said Purifoy did not fulfill his agreement to act as an informant.

The motion to quash or cancel the warrant was filed by an attorney for Purifoy. The motion stated that Purifoy would be available to law enforcement on request, that Purifoy has no significant prior criminal history and would waive his right to a speedy trial.

In a letter requesting the investigation, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said her deputies were not aware that the warrant had been invalidated and that the move to quash the warrant was “highly unusual.”

According to the warrant affidavit, a deputy smelled marijuana coming from a parked car on March 18.

Purifoy was in the driver’s seat of the car and was holding a marijuana joint, the warrant states. Purifoy was searched and two baggies that were later tested to contain a synthetic drug known as bath salts were found in Purifoy’s pocket.

“Based on probable cause developed by the deputy, an arrest warrant was issued for Loucheiz Purifoy for April 4, 2014, after he failed to fulfill his end of the bargain made with GACDTF,” Darnell wrote to Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones. “The action to quash the warrant is highly unusual and, as a result, I have numerous questions as to the propriety of how this occurred.”

Ben Tobias, spokesman for the police department, said an internal investigation would be conducted.

Purifoy announced in November that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Last season, Purifoy started seven of 12 games and made 24 tackles, including two sacks, and an interception. He has been a key contributor to the Gators since his freshman season in 2011 out of Pensacola.

Purifoy was suspended for the first game of last season for an unspecified violation of team rules. He was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in February 2013, but the charge was dropped weeks later by the State Attorney’s Office.


Information from: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, https://www.gainesvillesun.com

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