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Hobson Friend Denies Sending Drugs to Former Manager

May 9, 1996

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ A high school teammate of Butch Hobson said he sent a package to the former major leaguer and ex Boston Red Sox manager last week, but he said it did not contain cocaine.

Jerry Poe of Hueytown said the overnight letter he sent from Birmingham contained literature about landfills, and he was surprised by news reports naming him as the person who sent Hobson a package containing drugs.

``I sent him the information about that dump. That’s all I sent. Last week some time,″ Poe was quoted as saying in today’s Birmingham News. ``But there was no drugs in it.″

Poe said he had not been contacted by investigators.

Hobson, 44, who played baseball and football at Alabama, was arrested Saturday at a motel in Pawtucket, R.I., where he was on the road managing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, a Triple A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Authorities said Hobson received a package from Birmingham containing two grams of cocaine. Hobson’s lawyers said he did not know drugs were in the package and was surprised by police minutes after it arrived.

Hobson, staying at his south Alabama home, declined comment on the specific charges but denied any wrongdoing.

``When this thing is over I’ll be back on top and managing,″ he said. ``My players are calling me. I have a pitcher from Gadsden who called today to tell me they’ve had my case in Kangaroo Court. They’re fining me $1 for every day I’m gone.″

Poe, who played high school football with Hobson, said the two have been close since graduation. Poe, his wife and sons visited Hobson while he was manager of the Red Sox and Poe said the two have done business together.

Poe said he was not sure what day last week he sent a Federal Express package to Hobson. He said he placed some literature in an envelope and gave it to his secretary to mail.

No arrests have been made in Alabama, but Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent John Yacup of Birmingham said he anticipates at least one arrest.

Hobson managed Boston’s International League affiliate in Pawtucket from 1991 until he was promoted to Red Sox manager in 1992. He was fired after the 1994 season with a record of 207-231.

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