Ravens' J. Lewis enters not-guilty plea to new drug conspiracy indictment

August 28, 2004|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF

Jamal Lewis pleaded not guilty for the second time yesterday to a drug conspiracy indictment.

The Ravens running back's attorneys needed to enter the second plea because the charges against him had changed.

On Aug. 17 - six months after the original February indictment - Atlanta-based prosecutors expanded and refined their case, in which Lewis is accused of trying to broker a cocaine deal for hometown Atlanta friend Angelo Jackson. Jackson also pleaded not guilty for a second time.

Lewis waived his right to appear yesterday and empowered his attorneys to enter the plea on his behalf.

The new indictment alleges that Lewis introduced Jackson and two co-conspirators, Keaton Lamar Johnson and Neyaunte Stallings, to a woman so the three men - but not Lewis - could buy cocaine from her. The woman turned out to be a government informant.

The indictment says Lewis provided Johnson with the woman's phone number and encouraged Stallings to buy cocaine from her.

The government says the conspiracy involved at least 5 kilograms of a drug substance containing cocaine. That would be enough to trigger a minimum, mandatory prison term of 10 years if Lewis is convicted.

Lewis is also charged in three counts with using a telephone in a drug crime, and in one count with aiding Jackson's attempt to get cocaine.

The trial has been set for Nov. 1.

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