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Indians closer Perez charged with marijuana possession

Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana (L) and pitcher Chris Perez at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, June 10, 2012. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/88edd2b77604b2207242f92b0293afdb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana (L) and pitcher Chris Perez at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, June 10, 2012. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio, June 7 (UPI) -- Police in Rocky River, Ohio, said Friday they have charged Cleveland Indians pitcher Chris Perez with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Police said a search of Perez's home Tuesday turned up a package containing 163.9 grams of pot -- a little less than 6 ounces. The statement said Perez and his wife, Melanie, were freed on bond and criminal complaints would be filed in court Friday.

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Terry Gilbert, an attorney for the couple, said in a statement the couple would plead not guilty to what he called "low-level misdemeanor possession charges" and asked the public "not to rush to judgment."

Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti issued a statement saying the team is "disappointed whenever there is any negative attention brought to the Indians organization or one of our players."

"We understand and respect that there is an ongoing legal process that we will allow to evolve," he said.

Gilbert said Perez is "eager to return his focus to his team and his family."

Indians Manager Terry Francona said this week it was uncertain whether the closer's legal problems will affect his return from the disabled list.

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Francona -- speaking Wednesday in New York prior to a game against the Yankees -- said the team needs to "allow the process to unfold."

Rocky River police Chief Kelly Stillman said Wednesday police and U.S. postal service inspectors had identified a "controlled delivery of drugs" to Perez' home in the Cleveland suburb.

Perez has converted six of eight save opportunities this season, compiling a 4.32 ERA in 17 appearances.

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