Report: Fuller faces more Fla. charges

Prosecutors allege Raven used firearm in felony

May 23, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

A prosecutor in Florida has filed more charges against Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller, adding felony firearm and misdemeanor gambling charges, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Fuller already had been charged with operating a gambling house, a third-degree felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine, after a raid of his Tallahassee, Fla., home last month.

Assistant State Attorney Matt Smith said he decided on additional charges after talking with law enforcement officers, according to the paper. The charges allege Fuller used a firearm in the commission of a felony, which is a second-degree felony.

Smith claims informants and an undercover investigator said Fuller carried a handgun at all times during high-stakes card games at his home, either in his waistband or belt holster.

Fuller was arrested a month ago in a raid that involved 20 Leon County sheriff's deputies, Tallahassee police and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents. He was released on $5,000 bail.

Eight people were arrested during the raid, and warrants were issued for five others. Fuller is accused of hosting card games - primarily featuring a game called "Georgia Skins" that requires six to eight players - in which pots frequently reached into the thousands of dollars, for a 10 percent cut of the pot.

In January, Fuller and an intruder exchanged gunfire outside his home in what Fuller said was an attempted robbery in an unrelated event. Twenty shots were fired, though no one was hurt or arrested in the incident.

Shortly after, Fuller hired two Leon County deputies to provide off-duty security at his home, but both officers were fired after the raid when an investigation concluded they ignored their own suspicions about what was allegedly happening in the house. One of the deputies has since been rehired.

Fuller has maintained his innocence. A Tallahassee native, Fuller was a standout cornerback at Florida State.

Aware of Fuller's potential legal troubles, the Ravens last week signed veteran cornerback Dale Carter, who might be the team's only nickel (fifth) defensive back if Fuller is unavailable this season. Ravens officials say they are monitoring the situation, and coach Brian Billick has said he expects Fuller for the start of training camp.

A nine-year veteran, Fuller started 10 games last year in his first season with the Ravens before losing his job to Gary Baxter. Fuller is under contract for two more seasons and will make $1 million this year.

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