Thursday, October 05, 2000

Hoops star in drug bust

4 men charged in Ecstasy case

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Todd Clark, a former Northern Kentucky University basketball player who wants to play for the school again, is one of four men facing federal charges after a recent drug bust.

        Mr. Clark and the three others — Louis Brockhoeft, Jason Merrill and Anthony Clark, who is Todd Clark's brother — were charged with conspiring to possess and distribute 501 tablets of Ecstasy, the “club drug,” after an arrest on Friday.

        A package containing the Ecstasy had been addressed to Todd Clark, who has denied knowing what it contained. According to a federal complaint, his brother sent the package from Florida.

        Todd Clark was a leading scorer for the NKU Norse. He sat out for two seasons because of academic problems but was hoping to return to the program this year. Practice begins in 10 days.

        His attorney, Burr Travis of Florence, is meeting with federal prosecutors on Monday and hopes to have the possession charge dismissed.

        According to the federal complaint, officers with the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport discovered a package addressed to Todd Clark in Erlanger.

        They contacted Mr. Clark, who admitted to expecting a package from his brother. He consented to a search, and the Ecstasy tablets were found.

        He said that Mr. Brockhoeft was to pick up the package. When Mr. Brockhoeft did so, he was arrested.

        Mr. Brockhoeft admitted that he knew what was in the package. He noted that there was an agreement that Mr. Merrill would pick up 300 pills and that Todd Clark would get a small number for receiving the package.

        Later in the day, Mr. Brockhoeft made a “controlled” delivery to Mr. Merrill, who accepted the pills in exchange for $4,465. He was arrested.

        All but Mr. Brockhoeft have been released after posting a $5,000 bond.

        “(Todd) Clark is one of the most talented players that we've had in our program,” said Ken Shields, NKU's basketball coach. “If he is ... cleared of any involvement other than simply handling this package, then I'm not going to hold that against him.”


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