Before getting a search warrant to look for drugs in the home of Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois, Tallahassee Police for more than two months surveilled and seized multiple items they believed were connected to narcotics activity occurring at the house.
When TPD investigators opened the front door of Francois’ Lipona Drive house at about 2 p.m. Thursday, he was there with his girlfriend and it smelled like pot, officers said.
Police seized more than 17 grams of a marijuana/tobacco mixture from his bedroom.
But Francois, 21, doesn’t face criminal charges. He entered a diversion program that would allow him to avoid prosecution in favor drug counseling, community service or some other type of alternative sentence.
TPD spokesman Damon Miller said the investigation into Francois started with information there was drug activity at the house.
Police records showed that dozens of items considered drug paraphernalia were collected during four separate evidence grabs. The records did not indicate and Miller would not say where officers obtained the items.
Police are not required to have a warrant to search someone’s trash at the curb.
Reports detailing the earlier confiscations did not say where the items came from, listing the addresses and people involved as “withheld.”
A detailed report from Thursday, however, lists Francois and his girlfriend.
“That’s all part of the investigation,” Miller said.
On Feb. 27, according to police records, officers confiscated a Bob Marley grinder, plastic baggies and containers covered in marijuana residue. A month later, nine blunts were confiscated along with more baggies. A blunt is a cigar wrapper filled with pot.
On April 3, an iPad was seized as were more baggies and raw pot.
The redshirt junior from Orlando said he knew about the marijuana. He said he “can’t smoke right now,” indicating it belonged to his girlfriend and that he hadn’t smoked since December.
State Attorney Jack Campbell said Friday morning he saw no reason the diversion program decision would be rejected.
After being recommended by police, the program requires review by Campbell’s office and to be agreed upon by Francois before it is finalized.
“This office has discretion too,” Campbell said. “It has to get through both doors.”
Thursday, football coach Willie Taggart provided a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat regarding the incident.
“We are aware of the situation and it is being handled internally.”
The incident came just two days before the spring game, in which Francois was not expected to play.
Francois missed most of the 2017 season after suffering a knee injury in the season opener against Alabama.
He has participated in spring practice in a limited role behind returning starter James Blackman. Francois started all 13 games as a redshirt freshman during the 2016 season and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.
In January, Francois was investigated by authorities for a domestic violence incident.
According to a Tallahassee Police Department report, Francois and his live-in pregnant girlfriend gave radically different accounts of what transpired in the off-campus apartment they shared.