San Diego starting strong safety Terrence Kiel will miss Sunday's game at Baltimore following his arrest at team headquarters on five felony drug charges.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials said yesterday that Kiel admitted to shipping at least two parcels of prescription cough syrup to Texas. Although Kiel did not tell the DEA his motive, the agency in Texas has found widespread abuse of codeine-based cough syrup mixed with soft drinks or drugs and referred to as ``lean," said John S. Fernandes, the special agent in charge of the San Diego office. A pint bottle of ``lean" can cost between $200 and $325 on the street, he said.
The DEA is investigating where Kiel got the cough syrup, who else may be involved, and the intent. Two federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the investigation, said quart bottles full of what appears to be prescription cough syrup were found at Kiel's house. Both officials said Kiel admitted to financial difficulties when interviewed by agents. Kiel is making $500,000 this year, his fourth with the Chargers.
``He's been informed to stay home and take care of personal business," Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said, adding that Kiel is due back with the team Monday.
Kiel was called off the practice field by authorities at Chargers headquarters Tuesday and arrested on two counts of transporting a controlled substance and three counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance. Kiel, who was released on bail, is scheduled to be arraigned this coming Tuesday.
Kiel was a second-round draft pick in 2003. Three months after being drafted, he was shot three times during an attempted carjacking in Houston. Kiel returned to play in all 16 games as a rookie, including eight starts . . . While fielding questions about Kiel's arrest, coach Marty Schottenheimer revealed that backup free safety Bhawoh Jue underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery Tuesday and will be evaluated next week.