By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots safety Patrick Chung has plead not guilty to a felony charge of cocaine possession and waived his arraignment originally scheduled for Wednesday.
Chung’s hearing has been moved to Nov. 8. A grand jury in Bellknap Superior Court indicted Chung on the possession charge on Aug. 8 stemming from an incident on June 25 at his Meredith, N.H. home.
According to multiple reports, Chung’s house alarm went off and triggered a police response for a possible break-in. Upon entering the home, authorities found cocaine and believed they had enough evidence to indict Chung.
Cocaine possession in Bellknap County carries a possible maximum penalty of 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison.
Barring discipline from the Patriots, Chung doesn’t seem to be in jeopardy of league punishment at any point in the 2019 season. The case against him doesn’t seem particularly strong, but few concrete details are known about the June incident.
Chung could be suspended for up to four games under the league’s policy for substances of abuse. But the league would only have recourse if he’s convicted or admits to the crimes being charged against him. It’s distinctly possible that he avoids any kind of punishment entirely, from either the judicial system or the league. And if that punishment comes, it may not be until the 2020 season.
At this point, Chung should be expected to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster and start as long as he’s healthy. The veteran safety spent much of the offseason recovering from arm and shoulder surgeries and has not played in the preseason.