By Joshua Sills
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday February 19, 2003
Justin Levasseur, the UA football player arrested for transporting marijuana, will have to wait another month before his case goes to court.
According to the Henry County Clerk's office, Levasseur had a preliminary hearing on Dec. 9 in which he pleaded not guilty. The pre-trial hearing was then set for Jan. 10 and the jury trial was to begin on Feb. 3.
However, because a new judge was assigned to the case, the pre-trial hearing was postponed until March 18. No date is set for a jury trial yet.
While Levasseur awaits legal decisions regarding his case, his status at the university as a student and athlete still remain in question.
Media relations for the athletics department confirmed that Levasseur is not on the roster for spring football.
The athletics department could not comment on his future with the team. UA head football coach John Mackovic could not be reached for comment.
The Dean of Students office could not comment on Levasseur's specific case, due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. The act requires students or parents to give written permission to release records regarding the student.
However, Carol Thompson, senior associate dean of students, reviewed the university's possibilities for such a case.
"We refer to the code of conduct," said Thompson.
Two items of the University of Arizona Student Code of Conduct deal with narcotics.
Item 16 of the code prohibits "unauthorized use, sale, possession or distribution of any controlled substance or illegal drug or possession of drug paraphernalia that would violate the law."
Item 17 prohibits "off-campus conduct involving sale or distribution of any controlled substances, or violence, which may present a danger to the safety of the university community."
Levasseur's incident occurred off-campus.
Thomspon said that the university handles off-campus incidents on a case-by-case basis.
"Depending on the action, it may fall in our jurisdiction," said Thompson.
Illinois State Police arrested Levasseur in December for transporting 87 pounds of marijuana with a street value of approximately $276,000. If convicted, Levasseur could face up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Levasseur was offered $4,000 to transport the drugs from Tucson to Detroit, Mich. He was pulled over for speeding in Henry County, Ill., which is about 150 miles west of Chicago.
Levasseur could not be reached for comment.
Devin Simmons and the Associated Press contributed to this report.