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Trial of Dolphins Receiver To Begin

August 2, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday in the federal trial of Miami Dolphins receiver Tony Martin, who is charged with laundering drug money.

The charges stem from Martin’s longtime friendship with Ricky Brownlee, who served seven years in prison for drug convictions during the 1980s. Although Martin’s attorneys were seeking separate trials, District Judge K. Michael Moore denied the motion Friday.

Martin, 33, was charged eight days after playing in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons later released him, and he signed a four-year, $14.2 million contract with Miami, his hometown team.

The Dolphins acquired Martin because they believe he provides the deep threat quarterback Dan Marino has long lacked. Plus, Miami took little risk in signing him _ all but $100,000 of his contract is contingent on him being available to play.

Martin reported to training camp Friday with other Dolphins veterans. During the trial, he plans to work out on his own in the evening, and he’ll practice with the team on weekends.

The case against Martin centers on allegations that he helped Brownlee spend drug profits. Prosecutors say the money was used for three car leases, and they say Martin tried to pay $175,000 in Brownlee’s attorney fees with money from Brownlee.

Defense attorneys say Martin didn’t know the money was from drug sales. They say Martin never profited from the transactions and was motivated by friendship rather than criminal intent.

Attorneys anticipate a three-week trial, meaning a verdict would be reached three weeks before the Dolphins’ first game Sept. 13 at Denver.

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