New Orleans Saints player David Onyemata was issued a misdemeanor citation last week after he was accused of having marijuana at his apartment, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies seized nearly three ounces of marijuana, cannabis oil, marijuana edibles and hemp powder during a search of the defensive tackle's Elmwood apartment, according to a police report and a Sheriff's Office spokesman, Capt. Jason Rivarde.
Investigators believe the marijuana and other items were for Onyemata's personal use, and Rivarde said Onyemata was cooperative during the search.
In Louisiana, possessing marijuana is illegal except in certain circumstances that the Sheriff's Office said did not apply in this case. Onyemata received a summons to appear in court at a later date.
Onyemata is the second Saints player to be accused of breaking the law since the team's elimination in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 20. Cornerback P.J. Williams was arrested Jan. 23 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and was soon released from jail on his own recognizance.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Onyemata was cited after the agency began investigating a package that was seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection personnel in Buffalo, New York, on Jan. 28.
A Sheriff's Office narcotics investigator secured a warrant the next day to search Onyemata's apartment in the 5300 block of Citrus Boulevard, the report said.
Onyemata, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, was part of a rotation on the Saints' defensive line this season and played nearly 60 percent of the unit's snaps. The 2016 fourth-round pick finished the year with 4½ sacks and 35 tackles after appearing in all 16 regular-season games and two postseason contests.
NFL discipline for marijuana possession varies, though a positive drug test typically results in a four-game suspension.
With Sheldon Rankins working his way back from an Achilles injury suffered during the playoffs, New Orleans could be down multiple defensive tackles to start the season if Onyemata faces disciplinary action from the league.
One of New Orleans’ other defensive tackles, Tyeler Davison, is set to become a free agent in March if he doesn’t reach an agreement to remain with the Saints.
A native of Nigeria, Onyemata did not begin playing football until arriving at the University of Manitoba in Canada. He has said he picked up the game to have something to do between classes.
The Saints were intrigued with his potential and traded up in the fourth round of the draft to select him. He finished without a sack during his rookie season before notching two in 2017.
Misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions can result in short jail sentences and fines of hundreds of dollars. However, Jefferson Parish prosecutors have yet to decide whether to charge Onyemata.