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Drug Charges Filed Against Robert Downey Jr.

July 17, 1996

Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against actor Robert Downey Jr., who was stopped for speeding by sheriff's deputies last month and then arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine, heroin and an unloaded .357 magnum revolver in his pickup truck.

Downey, 31, was charged with felony counts of cocaine and heroin possession and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and having a concealed weapon in his vehicle, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Ellen Aragon. Downey is scheduled to be arraigned July 26.

The actor, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1993 for his starring role in "Chaplin," faces a maximum of three years and eight months in prison, though time behind bars was unlikely, Aragon said.

"He's a first-time offender and could take drug diversion classes," she said. "They found a fairly small amounts of drugs."

According to the Sheriff's Department, Downey's Ford pickup was pulled over on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu for speeding on June 23. Deputies said they arrested the actor after they found the gun and small amounts of crack and powder cocaine and black tar heroin in his vehicle.

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