Rewind to about a year ago and cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy of the Florida Gators was coming off a strong sophomore season that had seen him break into the starting lineup and heard him being mentioned as a possible first round pick if he came out after his Junior year. If you have seen the news out of Gainesville in the past 24 hours there is a good chance most teams just took him off their boards.
According to a report in the Gainesville Sun on Friday by Cindy Swirko Purifoy was arrested in March by local police in possession of marijuana and bath salts. Given the legalization of marijuana hasn't reached the state of Florida yet and the bath salts Purifoy was carrying were not the sort he might soak in the bath tub with things do not look good for the Gator CB.
According to the warrant affidavit, a deputy on foot patrol in Linton Oaks, a neighborhood off Southwest 20th Avenue, smelled marijuana coming from a parked car at 917 SW 60th Terrace about 11:34pm on March 18.
Purifoy was in the drivers seat of the car, which was a rental Buick from Tennessee, and was holding a marijuana joint, the warrant states. Purifoy was searched and two baggies that were later tested to contain a synthetic drug known as bath salts were found in Purifoy's pocket, according to the warrant.
After he was given a Miranda warning, Purifoy told deputies he bought the baggies several days before and believed they contained MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or molly, the Sheriff's Office reported.
However that was not the end of the matter. In return for agreeing to work with the police as an informant Purifoy was released by the police .... except he never did and a warrant was issued for his arrest
A source close to the case said Purifoy agreed that night to work with the task force as an informant, so they let him go. After that, he never returned phone calls and could not be reached by investigators.
Because of the alleged lack of cooperation, ASO filed the sworn complaint against Purifoy on April 4, charging him with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of synthetic narcotics.
A warrant was then issued for his arrest.
The end of the case then ? .... no not quite. On Wednesday his lawyer successfully filed a motion to have the arrest warrant quashed citing his clients willingness to cooperate with police, yet as of Thursday that quashing has become the subject of a police internal affairs investigation into the Gainesville Police Department.
In a letter to Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones on Friday, Sheriff Sadie Darnell requested that Jones conduct an internal affairs investigation into the possible involvement of GPD officers in the quashing of the warrant.
This is not likely to end well for Purifoy heading into the draft. The last thing a prospective NFL team is going to want is an investigation involving police corruption circling one of their draft picks.
To make matters worse this is not Purifoys first run in with the law having been arrested in February 2013 for possession of marijuana, a charge that was later dropped, in addition to being suspended from the team for the first game of last season for an unspecified violation of team rules.
If you were holding out hope the Steelers might look past these indiscretions then the tape on Purifoy in recent time might put paid to that. After an up and down season he entered the Combine with a lot to prove but did little to help his cause.
First he measured in at 5-foot-11, two inches than his reported size and then ran a relatively pedestrian time for his position that pushed him down the rankings and looked poor in the drills. Again at his Pro Day he ran and performed poorly with Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Carnell Lake specifically in town to look at prospects like him and his teammates in the secondary.
It would be a shock to hear his name called by the Steelers after all this come draft day especially given their recent experiences with troubled drafts picks and it is quite likely Purifoy will not be hearing his name called until day three now assuming he can find a suitor.