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NHL’s Stevens Nears Plea Agreement

December 15, 2000

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ Kevin Stevens of the Philadelphia Flyers is close to reaching a plea agreement regarding felony drug charges stemming from his arrest last January.

``They are amenable to almost all the terms, and we’ll work on a few others in the next six days,″ prosecutor Calvin Fuller said Friday. ``My understanding is that it’s done but to get it in front of the judge.″

Stevens had been scheduled to appear Thursday in Edwardsville, but was delayed because of the weather. The hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Fuller declined to discuss details of the agreement since Stevens could still decide to pull out of the deal. Any plea arrangement would be disclosed when Stevens appears in court.

Fuller said he could not recall any first-time offenders going to prison in thousands of similar cases he had prosecuted in Madison County.

``There is no indication of delivery,″ Fuller said. ``All the statements given to police say it was a personal use amount.″

Gregory Skinner, one of Stevens’ lawyers, confirmed a possible agreement but also declined to elaborate.

Fuller said he believed that Stevens had completed a drug program sponsored by the league and the NHL Players Association.

Stevens, a three-time all-star, was arrested at a motel in the St. Louis suburb of Collinsville, Ill., on Jan. 23, along with two other men and a woman described by police as a prostitute.

The woman told police she spent a night smoking crack with Stevens, who was playing for the New York Rangers at the time. His arrest came hours after the Rangers had played the Blues in St. Louis.

Stevens, 35, was charged with possessing crack cocaine, a felony. He was also charged with misdemeanors of soliciting a prostitute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police have said that Stevens went to the Oz nightclub in Sauget, Ill., after the game, then got a cab and asked the driver to find him a prostitute.

The alleged prostitute, Pamela Velia, 27, pleaded guilty in April to cocaine possession. She received two years’ probation as part of a plea deal.

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