2 MSU football players face felony drug charges, suspended indef - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

2 MSU football players face felony drug charges, suspended indefinitely

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A pair of Montana State University football players were arrested on Wednesday for reportedly selling Xanax.

Naijiel Hale and Darren Gardenhire have now been suspended indefinitely from the team, head coach Jeff Choate said Thursday.

The Missouri River Drug Task Force used a confidential informant to set up a purchase from Hale in February, according to charging documents. Hale allegedly had the informant make the purchase from his “brother,” Gardenhire.

A search of the residence turned up marijuana, but no other drugs. Both of their vehicles have been seized, awaiting search warrants after a Bozeman Police K9 indicated they both had the odor of dangerous drugs.

Hale and Gardenhire are reportedly roommates, and in another drug sale, Hale also had another person hand the drugs to the informant. But according to Montana law, the charge of distribution applies to Hale for arranging the sale of the pills.

Xanax is a Schedule 4 drug, the second highest level of controlled substances.

Both players are cornerback transfers from the University of Washington. Gardenhire is from Long Beach, Calif., and had been scheduled to redshirt the 2017 season as per transfer requirements. Hale, from Bellflower, Calif., transferred in January 2016 and played two games for MSU last fall.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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