Patriots safety Patrick Chung was indicted earlier this month on a charge of possession of cocaine, according to the Belknap (N.H.) County Attorney’s Office.
The incident occurred “on or about” June 25. The indictment was presented on Aug. 8.
In a statement, the Patriots acknowledged that they were “aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung.”
“We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place,” the statement read.
According to the indictment, Chung, 32, “did possess or have under his control a quantity of the controlled substance cocaine” on in Meredith, New Hampshire. Cocaine possession is a Class B felony and carries a potential prison term of up to seven years.
An arraignment is scheduled for next Wednesday, August 28, in Belknap County Superior Court, according to published reports.
The NFL’s substance-abuse policy states that “players convicted of or admitting to a violation of law” related to drug possession are subject to discipline from the league. First-time offenses result in a four-game suspension without pay, according to the policy.
Under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, a player can face discipline even if the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction. Illegal possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or drugs is listed as one of the 14 offenses that can trigger discipline in the absence of a conviction.
The indictment was first reported by The Laconia Daily Sun.
Chung, 32, is entering his 11th NFL season and 10th with the Patriots. He has been the team’s starting strong safety since the 2014 season. Chung has not participated in any preseason games this year for the Pats as he recovers from offseason shoulder and forearm surgeries.
The veteran strong safety suffered a fractured forearm early in the second half of the team’s Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Chung exited the game and later returned to the sideline with his right arm in a sling.