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Aztecs' Murray Is Arrested on Drug Charges

September 03, 1987|CURT HOLBREICH | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Gerald Murray, the starting center on the San Diego State basketball team, was released Wednesday on $3,000 bond after being arrested on drug charges.

Murray, 22, and two other people were arrested Tuesday morning at an off-campus apartment in the 4200 block of 49th Street in East San Diego. They were charged with suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale, according to Bill Robinson, a San Diego Police spokesman.

Robinson said detectives confiscated 3 1/2 ounces of rock cocaine. Police estimated the drug's street value at $4,200. Also seized were $5,591 in cash, a loaded .38-caliber revolver and a working police scanner.

Murray was taken to San Diego County Jail and booked Tuesday afternoon. He was released early Wednesday morning after posting bond.

Also arrested were Natosha Plousha, 22, and a 17-year-old male. Plousha was taken to the San Diego County Jail at Las Colinas in Santee. She was released early Wednesday after posting $3,000 bond.

Police arrived at the apartment Tuesday morning to serve a search warrant, which culminated a two-week investigation by the department's narcotics street team. Six plainclothes detectives and Sgt. Reggie Frank conducted the investigation, Robinson said.

When detectives entered the apartment late Tuesday morning, the juvenile, a resident of Southeast San Diego, fled through a window but was apprehended by detectives outside the apartment, Robinson said.

Robinson said that only three people were in the apartment and that he did not know if any of them were residents.

SDSU basketball coach Jim Brandenburg said that he spoke with Murray Wednesday and that Murray told him he was staying at the apartment while waiting to move into his own apartment.

"Gerald told me he's not involved in this," Brandenburg said. "He said he was just staying with these people."

Murray could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Brandenburg said neither he nor the university has taken disciplinary action against Murray.

"We're taking a wait-and-see approach," Brandenbrug said. "He said he is innocent and he will have his chance in court."

Murray, a 6-foot 8-inch, 240-pound senior, averaged 10.1 points and a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per game last season. He started 28 of 30 games. Murray played sparingly in his first two seasons after a successful prep career at Kettering High School in Detroit. He sat out the 1985-86 season after he fractured his knee for the third time.

Brandenburg, who is in his first year at SDSU after nine seasons at Wyoming, said he had expected Murray to be his starting center when the season opens Nov. 27 at the Sun-Met Classic in Fresno.

Chris De Luca and Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this report.

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