Letroy Guion, a free agent defensive lineman who was in contract extension talks with the Packers, was arrested last week after a routine traffic stop wound up revealing 357 grams (slightly less than a pound) of weed, over 190 grand in cash, and a gun. Police released this photo to the right with their haul laid out meticulously on the table. It was shared by just about every Packers beat writer, and was covered by just about every sports media outlet (including this one). Spoken or not, the implication was that Guion was a drug trafficker.
ESPN followed up:
A source with knowledge of the details told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan the handgun was unloaded in a box and that Guion has a permit to carry it in Minnesota. Guion was in the process of moving back from Green Bay to his home in Starke, the source said. The source said further that Guion, after cashing his Packers paychecks, was going to use the money to help his family in Starke, and he provided proof of the money’s origin through recent bank statements.
Plausible circumstances for the cash (presuming the report was accurate) and a safely stowed weapon are are not a recipe for big exposure. Caplan’s information received some aggregated coverage, but far less than the initial photo.
With apologies in advance for going all Whitlock here, The Wire featured multiple scenes about “dope on the table,” wherein investigations were hampered by the institutional bureaucrats (who, more than any other person or group, were the real bad guys of the show) that hastily fetishized superficial coverage of police accomplishments. It’s too soon to know whether Letroy Guion is guilty of anything more serious than really liking to get high, but it’s unlikely most people realize that after seeing the damning photo released by police.