The Decatur Daily, Ala.
Oct. 21—Former NFL and Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and had a drug charge dismissed in Moulton Municipal Court on Tuesday, according to his attorney.
Decatur attorney Carl Cole said McClain was fined $250 for possessing a firearm without a permit and $25 for speeding along Alabama 157 through Moulton on July 30.
At the time, Moulton Police Capt. Russell Graham said McClain, 33, of Northport, was driving a 2022 Mercedes sedan southbound along Alabama 157 when patrol officer Epifanio Dejoya clocked him going 70 mph in a 55 mph zone near Mel’s Steakhouse.
Moulton police said they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle as they approached it during the traffic stop and found marijuana in the car. McClain told Dejoya that he had firearms in the vehicle, police said.
Cole said his client had three handguns returned to him Tuesday after pleading guilty. McClain also was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and was released from the Lawrence County Jail on $1,800 bail early on July 31. Cole said the city of Moulton dropped the marijuana charge at the court appearance Tuesday.
” Mr. McClain, like many other people, was under the impression after the recent ‘Constitutional Carry’ legislation that the pistol being in the car was not illegal,” Cole said. “However the law doesn’t go into effect until after the first of the year. Mr. McClain acknowledged his mistake, and took responsibility for it. His guns were returned to him that night.
“… The City of Moulton felt that it was appropriate to dismiss the marijuana charge and of course, we certainly agreed that it was appropriate,” Cole said.
A passenger in McClain’s vehicle, Detrick S. Mostella, 28, of Athens, was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana and released from the Lawrence County Jail on a $1,000 bond a few hours later. Mostella, who played college basketball at Tennessee and Jacksonville State, had his hearing continued until 2023, Cole said.
Moulton Police Chief Craig Knight and city prosecutor Callie Waldrep did not immediately return phone calls Thursday afternoon.
McClain has been arrested in Morgan County previously on various misdemeanor charges, most of which were dismissed.
A 2007 graduate of Decatur High, McClain was an all-America linebacker at Alabama where he played during Nick Saban’s first three years in Tuscaloosa from 2007-2009, including on the 2009 national championship team. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. That year, he signed a five-year $40 million contract, with $23 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.
After starting 38 of 41 games, McClain was released by the Raiders after the 2012 season. In 2013, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but announced his retirement before playing. In 2014, the Dallas Cowboys signed him as the starting middle linebacker where he started 23 of 24 games over the next two seasons. He served a four-game suspension to start the 2015 season for violating the NFL’s drug policy and was suspended the first 10 games of the 2016 season before being suspended indefinitely.
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