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Olympic Medalist Pleads No Contest

May 17, 2001

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) _ Olympic archery champion Justin Huish pleaded no contest to a felony charge of selling marijuana, and is expected to be sentenced to six months in jail.

Huish, 25, faced up to three years in prison if convicted of dealing drugs out of his Simi Valley home. The 1996 gold medalist made no comments to the court Wednesday after entering his plea.

He will be sentenced June 13.

``He has been offered six months in jail since my involvement in the case,″ Deputy District Attorney Ron Carpenter said Thursday. ``I would imagine that’s probably going to be in the neighborhood of what the sentence is going to be.″

Huish’s roommate and co-defendant, Brian Mastrangelo, 24, also appeared before Superior Court Judge Herbert Curtis and agreed to waive a jury trial. Curtis convicted Mastrangelo on three misdemeanor charges for allowing drug sales at the home and for possessing martial arts weapons.

Carpenter said he was pleased with the outcome of the case, noting the defendants didn’t have a previous criminal record.

``We have two young men who have faced their responsibility and now they can go on with their lives,″ Carpenter said.

Huish was arrested Feb. 15, 2000, after police witnessed an apparent drug deal outside the home. A detective stopped a man leaving the home and found a plastic bag of marijuana in his pocket.

The man told a detective he bought the pot from Huish and officers returned with a search warrant, finding a briefcase containing several half-ounce plastic bags of marijuana.

Huish originally pleaded innocent, arguing that he was providing the marijuana for an HIV patient. Huish was later ordered to stand trial on possession and drug sale charges.

Huish quit the U.S. team last year after his arrest, telling the National Archery Association that he did not want his case to interfere with his team’s preparation for the Sydney Games.

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