Ex-QB Art Schlichter pulled over, hands officer crack pipe while on probation, police say


The seemingly perpetual, drug-related saga of former NFL and Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter − who is serving probation for cocaine charges in 2022, months after he was released from prison − continues as he faces another felony drug charge.

Schlichter, 63, was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol late Friday afternoon when a trooper noticed a vehicle driven by Schlichter sitting near an intersection in Columbus, Ohio.

As the trooper approached Schlichter’s car, he handed the officer a crack pipe, according to the criminal complaint. Schlichter’s car was searched and small white rocks believed to be crack cocaine were found, according to court documents.

Schlichter, who was picked fourth overall in the NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts in 1982, was charged with a fifth-degree felony possession of cocaine and will appear in court next week.

Last arrest: Unresponsive in a hotel room

At the time of his arrest Friday, Schlichter was serving probation, a one-year sentence handed down in September, for cocaine possession.

That sentence stemmed from an incident in which Schlichter was found unresponsive at an Ohio Hampton Inn in June 2022 − less than a year after he was released from prison for federal fraud charges related to a massive ticket scheme that bilked millions of dollars from his victims.

Inside Schlichter’s hotel room, officers found a substance they believed to be cocaine after responding to a report of an overdose at the Hampton Inn on Lyman Drive in Hilliard, Ohio. Officers could not get Schlichter to respond.

He was resuscitated with the help of Narcan, a nasal spray used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose that includes signs of breathing problems. Schlichter was then taken to the hospital.

A test of the substance found in Schlichter’s hotel room came back as cocaine and he was charged with possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony.

More: ‘It’s sad and it’s tragic’: Ex-Colts QB Art Schlichter’s life behind bars

Less than five months on probation

In September, nearly a year after Schlichter was found unresponsive in that Hampton Inn hotel room, he was sentenced to one year probation for his offense.

The sentence issued by a Franklin County, Ohio, judge was the latest in Schlichter’s encounters with the law, which through the decades have mostly stemmed from illegal gambling and Ponzi schemes.

Former Indianapolis Colts player Art Schlichter and his attorney Lesa Lux at the Indianapolis City County building in 1987 after confessing to illegally betting $200,000 on football and basketball games.

Former Indianapolis Colts player Art Schlichter and his attorney Lesa Lux at the Indianapolis City County building in 1987 after confessing to illegally betting $200,000 on football and basketball games.

Ron O’Brien, the former Franklin County prosecutor who fought to keep Schlichter in prison due to his perpetual criminal offenses, told IndyStar in September that in legal terms, the sentence of one year probation was appropriate.

But he also called Schlichter a “career criminal who seemingly cannot be rehabilitated.”

A life of run-ins with the law

A former Ohio State star quarterback, Schlichter had dreams of a professional football career, but those were soon sidelined by his run-ins with the law.

In 2010, NFL Network listed Schlichter as the No. 4 draft bust of all time and a top 10 quarterback draft bust of all time.

In 2011, Schlichter pleaded guilty to a massive ticket scheme in which he promised college and NFL game tickets to buyers, but never delivered the tickets despite being paid for them. He was sentenced and released on bond.

Four months later, in January 2012, Schlichter’s bond was revoked due to drug use. According to court records, Schlichter was charged with violating the terms of his house arrest, testing positive for cocaine twice and then refusing to give urine samples. He was taken into custody.

Art Schlichter, 61, is shown in his most recent jail photo from October. He was released this summer.

Art Schlichter, 61, is shown in his most recent jail photo from October. He was released this summer.

In May 2012, Schlichter was sentenced to nearly 11 years in the Federal Correctional Institute in Florence, Colorado, and 10 years in an Ohio penitentiary. The two sentences were to be served concurrently, and with good behavior Schlichter was to be released Aug. 18, 2020.

But from inside the walls of prison, just months before his scheduled release, Schlichter was having women outside the prison place bets for him, O’Brien told IndyStar at the time.

He was also betting with other inmates, O’Brien said. Prison officials found out through emails and phone calls Schlichter was gambling from inside. He was banned from email for 90 days due to his gambling, according to prison records.

In 2020, IndyStar spoke exclusively with Schlichter from behind bars at the Federal Correctional Institute in Florence, Colorado. He said he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia and that he had been treated “unfairly” by the courts and prosecutors.

Follow IndyStar sports reporter Dana Benbow on X: @DanaBenbow. Reach her via e-mail: dbenbow@indystar.com.  

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Art Schlichter stopped with crack pipe while on probation, police say





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