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Boxing champion Wilder charged with marijuana possession

(AP Photo/Albert Cesare)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor marijuana possession, but his lawyer says the marijuana found in his car did not belong to him.

Police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, said in a statement that they arrested Wilder on Wednesday afternoon after they found marijuana in his Cadillac Escalade. Wilder, 31, was initially stopped for a window tint violation. Officers searched the car after smelling marijuana and found a small amount in the vehicle's console.

Wilder was charged with second-degree marijuana possession, a misdemeanor, and released on $1,000 bond.

Wilder's attorney Paul Patterson told The Associated Press that Wilder said the marijuana did not belong to him. Patterson said that Wilder had just returned from an out-of-town trip, in which he had been driving another vehicle, and selected the Escalade to run errands around Tuscaloosa.

Wilder has several friends and associates who had access to the Escalade when he was out of town, Patterson said.

"He is heartbroken by this, but the fighter in him is going to ensure he fights and clears his good name," Patterson said.

The 6-foot-7-inch (2-meter) fighter is the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.

This story has been edited to clarify that Wilder has been charged, but not convicted.

Updated June 15, 2017

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