Aug 212010

Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies arrested for cocaine possession

August 21 Philadelphia Inquirer

Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies, one of the three players acquired in the Cliff Lee trade this past off-season, was arrested early Friday for cocaine possession stemming from a June incident in Clearwater, Fla.

Gillies, 21, was arrested by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Officers at 1:48 a.m. Friday, according to a spokeswoman. The possession charge is a felony.

Gillies was released from jail at 10:52 a.m. on a $2,000 cash bond. No initial court appearance has been scheduled.

He was apprehended by police at the La Quinta Inn on Route 19 in Clearwater, less than a mile from the Phillies’ spring-training complex.

The team issued only a statement Friday:

“The Phillies have confirmed that Tyson Gillies was charged today on a drug possession charge arising out of an incident that was alleged to have occurred in June. Because this is an open case, we will not comment further at this time.”

Cecilia Barreda, the public information officer for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, said the original incident occurred June 11 in Clearwater.

That morning, a patrol officer witnessed Gillies standing on the shoulder of Route 19 near Enterprise Boulevard in Clearwater at 3:24 a.m. Gillies was waving a white shirt at passing motorists. The patrol officer stopped to speak with Gillies and noticed he was intoxicated, Barreda said.

Gillies told the officer he was waving the shirt so his friends could see him. He said he was trying to find a way back to his hotel after spending several hours at the nearby Freaki Tiki Bar.

The officer asked Gillies if he had enough money for a taxi to take him back to the hotel. He did not, so the officer offered Gillies a courtesy ride.

After the officer dropped Gillies off at the La Quinta, where he was also staying in June, he spotted a bag of a white powdery substance on the backseat floor of the police cruiser where Gillies had sat, Barreda said. The officer stopped Gillies, took down his information, and told him that the bag would be sent to a lab for testing and that he could be charged in the future.

The lab results came back positive for cocaine Thursday, and Gillies was taken into custody Friday morning. The amount of cocaine in the bag was not disclosed.

Gillies played two games for double-A Reading in June, but spent most of his time working out at the Phillies‘ complex in Clearwater while attempting to rehab a sore left hamstring that has slowed him all season.

This past week, Gillies saw his first game action since June. The Vancouver native played three games for the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

On Wednesday, Gillies told his hometown newspaper, The Kamloops Daily News, that he was “finally figuring out the little things coaches have been trying to explain, things you have to struggle with and feel for yourself.””

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