ATLANTA — The former player linked to the suspension of Georgia receiver A.J. Green faces a felony drug charge from an arrest during a traffic stop in Georgia last year.
Chris Hawkins, 28, is charged with felony trafficking of cocaine and misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from the April 2009 incident. The former North Carolina and Marshall defensive back, who bought the jersey in a transaction that led to Green's four-game NCAA suspension, is due in court on the drug charges next month.
Green has missed two games for selling an Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000, and the NCAA ruled Hawkins qualified as an agent. The school is appealing the ruling and an NCAA committee is set to hear the case Friday.
Page Pate, an Atlanta-based attorney who is representing Hawkins in the drug case, said Hawkins "has never seen himself as an agent." In an interview with ESPN.com, Hawkins said he bought the jersey as a collector.
According to a report from the Georgia State Patrol, authorities stopped Hawkins for not wearing a seat belt while driving a U-haul truck filled with furniture on Interstate 20 near Madison, Ga. A drug-sniffing dog led authorities to 96 grams of crack cocaine wrapped in tape, peanut butter and pepper, the report said.
Authorities also found a small amount of marijuana in Hawkins' pocket, according to the report.
The truck was rented by NFL running back Willie Parker, Hawkins' former teammate at North Carolina. Parker told authorities he had purchased the furniture in Miami for his mother's house in North Carolina and Hawkins was moving the furniture for him, according to the report.
Pate said there's no reason to believe Hawkins or Parker knew about the drugs.
"Chris has always denied having any knowledge there were any drugs in the back of that U-Haul truck stuffed in the furniture," Pate said. "He was not present during the loading of that furniture, he didn't purchase that furniture and didn't inspect it."