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UFC champ Jon Jones not facing drug possession charges at this time

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Albuquerque Police Department found a marijuana pipe with marijuana inside it in what is believed to be a car driven by Jon Jones. But Jones has not yet been charged for marijuana possession, according to APD spokesman Tanner Tixier.

Tixier told on Tuesday that felonies and misdemeanors are not put on the same charging document in New Mexico. Jones is currently being charged with a felony: leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury. He was arrested Monday night and will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon with regards to that charge. Any marijuana possession charge would be a misdemeanor, Tixier said.

The thinking behind the state precedent, Tixier said, is that it doesn't give the defendant the ability to just take a plea deal for the misdemeanor. Jones is facing the felony charge right now and the marijuana possession charge could be revisited later, either by law enforcement, the prosecution or if the felony case goes to a grand jury, Tixier said.

However, Tixier said the fact that the pipe and marijuana were found inside a rental car without Jones even being present would make the misdemeanor case "hard to prove."

Also, a pervading rumor over the last few days online has been that cocaine was found inside the vehicle. That is not accurate, according to Tixier.

"I don't know where that came from," Tixier said.

Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, allegedly ran a red light Sunday morning while driving a rented silver Buick SUV in Albuquerque, striking another car and igniting a three-car collision, according to the police report. He is being accused of leaving the scene, but only after going back to the vehicle and grabbing a handful of cash. The victim, Vanessa Sonnenberg, suffered a broken arm, per the arrest affidavit.

Inside the rental vehicle, police found marijuana, a marijuana pipe and paperwork with Jones' name on it. There was also paperwork referencing MMA and Nevada. Jones' next fight, a title defense against Anthony Johnson, is scheduled for the main event of UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas.

The Albuquerque Police Department issued a warrant for Jones' arrest Monday afternoon. He was brought into custody Monday evening and booked. Jones made the $2,500 bail and was released a few hours later. He is scheduled to be arraigned 1:30 p.m. MT on Tuesday.

The UFC has yet to determine whether Jones' fight with Johnson will go ahead.

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