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  |   Sept. 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM
Pot delivered to Jerome Simpson's home

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Authorities said they tracked a package containing 2.5 pounds of high-grade California marijuana to the Kentucky home of Cincinnati Bengal Jerome Simpson.

Michelle Gregory, spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice, said authorities tracked a suspected marijuana package sent from Eureka, Calif., and discovered after it arrived at Simpson's Crestview Hills, Ky., home that it contained 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday.

Gregory said Simpson and fellow Bengals player Anthony Collins were at the home when a woman, identified as Aleen Smith, 27, accepted the package. Simpson gave police permission to search his home and they found 6 more pounds of marijuana along with "packaging materials, scales and smoking devices," Gregory said.

"The house was set up as a potential distribution network," said Tommy LaNier, head of the National Marijuana Initiative, which is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate marijuana operations across the United States.

No arrests have been made and California and Kentucky authorities are determining what agency would handle potential prosecution in the ongoing investigation.


Tsonga, Gasquet claim Moselle Open wins

METZ, France, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Top seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet posted straight-set wins Thursday in second-round action of the Moselle Open tennis tournament in France.

Tsonga, the No. 1 seed, defeated fellow Frenchman Mathieu Rodrigues 6-3, 6-4. He lost his serve once -- the only break point he faced -- but still won 70 percent of the points on serve. He lost 16 points over 10 service games.

The second-seeded Gasquet dispatched Olivier Rochus 6-2, 6-1 in 65 minutes. Gasquet, who improved to 6-2 lifetime versus Rochus, had 10 aces and took almost three-quarters of the points on serve.

No. 6-seeded Xavier Malisse ousted Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-2 with six breaks in nine receiving games but qualifier Igor Sijsling eliminated seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-5. Sijsling didn't lose his serve in the match so was able to make one break in each set stand for a trip to the quarterfinals.

Thursday's other match saw Nicolas Mahut take out Arnaud Clement 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a match that lasted 2 1/2 hours.

Tsonga will go against Mahut in Friday's quarterfinals with third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov facing Malisse in the other top-half match. In the lower half of the draw, Gasquet will play eighth-seeded Gilles Muller and No. 4-seeded Ivan Ljubicic is paired against Sijsling.


Bond takes lead at Austrian Open

ATZENBRUGG, Austria, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Liam Bond had birdies in four of his last five holes in taking the lead after the first round of the European Tour's Austrian Golf Open.

Bond wound up with a 6-under-par 66 and has a one-stroke lead over Daniel Gaunt, Joost Luiten and Thomas Norret. Steve Webster, who had three birdies in his first five holes and two eagles and three bogeys on the back nine, is alone in fifth at 4-under.

Bond opened with a birdie at the Diamond Country Club's 10th hole but had a bogey at No. 12. Birdies at 13 and 15 had Bond at 2-under before he ran off seven consecutive pars.

He got hot after that, however, recording consecutive birdies on Nos. 5-7 and pulling into the lead alone with a birdie at the par-3 ninth hole.

Four of his seven birdies came in the Diamond Country Club's par 5s.

Gaunt twice had consecutive birdie strings on three holes and finished with eight birdies and three bogeys on the day. Luiten had an eagle at the par-5, 506-yard 10th hole to go with five birdies and two bogeys. Norret had seven birdies and two bogeys.


Catchings voted WNBA's most valuable

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who guided the Fever to the second-best record in the league this season, was voted the WNBA's most valuable player.

Catchings, 32, won the honor for the first time after being runner-up in 2003 and 2009.

She received 21 of the first-place votes from a panel of 40 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the WNBA. Connecticut center Tina Charles was second in the voting and Chicago center Sylvia Fowles was third.

Catching averaged 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds this season as Indiana claimed the No. 1 seed in the WNBA Eastern Conference. She is a seven-time all-star and was voted Rookie of the Year in 2002. Catchings is the only player in the Top 10 in the all-time WNBA lists for points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Indiana is playing Atlanta and Minnesota meets Phoenix in best-of-three series in the WNBA playoffs conference finals.

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