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Chargers’ Kiel Pleads Not Guilty

October 4, 2006

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Chargers safety Terrence Kiel pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges he shipped bottles of codeine-based cough syrup to Texas.

Kiel, 25, a starter with the Chargers, faces a maximum of seven years and four months in state prison if convicted of all five felony drug counts against him, according to Deputy District Attorney James Fontaine.

Kiel was arrested Sept. 26 in the locker room after authorities turned up at Chargers headquarters. Drug Enforcement Administration officials said Kiel admitted to shipping at least two parcels of prescription cough syrup to Texas via FedEx.

The agency has found widespread abuse in Texas of codeine-based cough syrup mixed with soft drinks or drugs and referred to as ``lean.″

Fontaine said the district attorney’s office is still investigating where Kiel got the cough syrup.

Kiel’s attorney, Robert Grimes, said his client was cooperating with the investigation.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant, FedEx managers searched a package Kiel mailed with his FedEx account in June and found 15 bottles of Prometh prescription cough syrup in the box. A boarding pass found inside the box led DEA agents to an address Kiel used to register a car. Three bottles of Prometh were seized last week at that address.

Kiel paid cash to send a second package to Texas in September, prompting a FedEx manager to contact the DEA, according to the affidavit.

Kiel, free on $160,000 bail, didn’t accompany the team to its game in Baltimore last Sunday. His status for this Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh hasn’t been determined.

Kiel is making $500,000 this season, his fourth with the Chargers.

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