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Published: Thursday, 5/15/2008

Ex-Falcons captain Hargrove arrested

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Hargrove Hargrove
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Former Bowling Green State University football captain Loren Hargrove and a former Falcon teammate were arrested on felony drug trafficking charges Monday night in Botkins, Ohio, a rural community about 80 miles south of Bowling Green.

Hargrove, 23, of Berea, Ohio, and Melvin Cole, 23, of Memphis were each charged with trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs, both first degree felonies. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail along with a $10,000 fine. They are being held in Shelby County Jail on $100,000 bound.

A female who was with Hargrove and Cole at the time of the incident was not arrested.

Cole was once a member of the Falcon football team but played just two seasons.

An officer responded to a complaint by a hotel employee that Hargrove and others dumped trash in the hotel parking lot and refused to leave the premises. According to police documents, a search of Hargrove's 2007 Chevy Tahoe yielded two kilos (4.4 pounds) of suspected cocaine, which has an estimated street value of $200,000.

"We really don't know what their intentions were for being there other than they were heading back to Bowling Green," said Botkins Chief of Police Wayne Glass. "They weren't talking very much. They declined to be up front with us or work with us, which is their right."

Hargrove and Cole appeared in Sidney Municipal Court on Tuesday morning. Hargrove told the judge he wished to seek proper representation because "it's a misunderstanding under my part." What Hargrove meant by that statement is unclear.

"I don't know what he meant by that, whether it was because he had the wrong people in his car or the wrong stuff in his car," Glass said. "He didn't go into any detail of that statement."

An indictment will be sought and Glass said additional charges may also be sought by the prosecutor.

According to teammates and coaches, Hargrove was a respected leader, someone with a commendable work ethic. He graduated from BGSU with a sport management degree in December, 2007.

The linebacker was regarded highly enough by the coaching staff that they named him a captain prior to last season even though he had yet to establish himself on the field.

Hargrove was suspended from the team during his freshman year for an undisclosed NCAA rules violation.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com.



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