KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- The Tennessee basketball team practiced Saturday without the four players who were arrested and charged for gun and drug possession late Friday morning.
Tyler Smith, Cameron Tatum, Brian Williams and Melvin Goins have been indefinitely suspended from all team activities as the investigation unfolds. The four have been released from the Knox County Detention Center.
“I am deeply saddened and troubled by today’s news," Pearl said in a release Friday. "I am indefinitely suspending Melvin (Goins), Tyler (Smith), Cameron (Tatum) and Brian (Williams) from all team activities until we have more information about today’s incident. I apologize for the embarrassment this has caused to our University.”
When the four players were pulled over because of speeding, the police officer found two firearms with the serial numbers filed off and some marijuana.
Bruce Pearl has released the following statement:
"We take these matters very seriously. We are still gathering information. Once the appropriate authorities have provided us with all of the facts, we will act accordingly.”
Release from the Knoxville Police Department regarding the above incident:
On January 01, 2010, at about 1127 hrs., Officer Sakovich stopped a car for speeding on I-129 at Kingston Pk. The officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car as he spoke with the driver. The officer requested back up and a K-9 officer. Officer Chadwell walked his dog around the vehicle where it alerted. The driver and 3 passengers were taken out of the vehicle so officers could search the vehicle.
Items and their locations found inside the vehicle:
A. handgun under driver seat , accessible by either the driver or left rear seat passenger.
B. handgun, with altered serial #, under passenger seat, accessible by either the front seat passenger or right rear seat passenger C. baggy of schedule VI drugs D. open container of alcohol
It could not be determined if the driver and passengers were under the influence of marijuana or not although the strong odor indicated that marijuana had been recently smoked in the car. Because of this, physical arrests were made instead of misdemeanor citations for the misdemeanor charges. Possession of a firearm with an altered serial # is a felony charge. All four individuals were physically arrested.
Suspects and charges:
1. Cameron Alexander Tatum (driver) (a) unlawful poss. of firearm (b) open container of alcohol
2.David Tyler Smith (front seat passenger) (a) unlawful poss. of firearm (b) poss. of firearm with altered serial # 3.Melvin Lamont Goins II ( left rear seat passenger ) (a) unlawful poss. of firearm (b) poss. of schedule VI 4.Brian M. Williams ( right rear seat passenger ) (a)unlawful poss. of firearm (b) poss. of firearm with altered serial # (c) poss. of schedule VI
This will be the only information released on this incident until Monday, January 4, 2010.