Cocaine possession charges dropped against Gillies

According to David Murphy at “High Cheese”, the possession charges have been dropped stemming from an incident where police allegedly found a bag of white powder after Gillies’ exited a police vehicle:

According to a story in his hometown newspaper, authorities in Florida have dropped the cocaine possession charge against Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies.

Gillies faced the charge after hs arrest on Aug. 20 for an incident that occurred on June 11 in Clearwater, where he had been rehabbing a hamstring injury that plagued him throughout the season.

Kevin Hayslett, a high-profile Tampa attorney who represents Gillies, told the Kamloops (British Columbia) Daily News that the state attorney’s office has decided not to proceed with the case.

“I’m very glad that this ordeal is over,” Gillies told the newspaper. “But I’m still very upset that it happened to me and that my character, which I’ve worked so hard to build, can even be questioned.”

Gillies told the Kamloops Daily News that he was drug tested five hours after the incident and that the test came back negative.

Phillies won’t confirm the report yet. Very smart of Gillies or his attorney to get the drug test.

This should resolve the potential visa problems.  Gilies is a guy who, if he can get healthy, could really have a break-out season.

69 thoughts on “Cocaine possession charges dropped against Gillies

  1. Awesome. Particularly the part about how he got drug-tested following the arrest and he was clean. A lesson in “innocent until proven guilty.”

  2. I’m a little confused, so Gillies didn’t use the cocaine, but a negative drug test wouldn’t prove possession either way. Nor does it prove that Gillies isn’t a user. So are they saying that someone else left that bag of coke on the back seat?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the charges were dropped and he can continue playing, but if he really has a drug issue I want to see him get help.

  3. Great news!!! Let’s hope this kid stays healthy as all the coaches were gushing about his speed in Spring training last year. Let him spend a year in Reading batting lead-off and playing CF. He still his fairly young at 22/23.

  4. Hopefully the young man will revisit his role in baseball. “Innocent until”
    is a myth. That’s why you NEED a good attorney. Is trouble with a work visa out of the question?
    Gooooooo Hamels.

  5. My prediction has always been that, for Gillies, 2011 will be as good as 2010 was bad. Also, if it is true that this was more a mix up that a true issue for Gillies, my guess is that the “scare” will push him on to greater heights. Usually, for a decent, hard-working person, a brush with danger or a firm look into the abyss will cause that person to focus and work that much harder. It happened to Hamels and countless others. I still feel pretty good in predicting that this guy will end up in the Phillies outfield, along with Dom Brown, as the team, piece-by-piece, builds a succession plan.

    I have Gillies ranked as the number 10 guy in the system – that actually might be a little low, but he’s somewhere between around 7-13.

  6. Ah some good news on this beautiful October morning. Hopefully he can get healthy and get back on track as a player.

  7. I wonder if TG sues the police dept for defamation of character…I mean the kid name was trashed as if he were a major leaguer only because he was a member of the Cliff Lee trade….if he was not a member in that trade, IMO he would not have received so much publicity…….regardless, his name for some people will always be tarnished, some will maintain that he was guilty and got off because of shoddy police work…..I am happy for him but still feel horrible that he had to go through this, along with his mug shot plastered all over the Internet for millions to see.

  8. BS wrote:

    “I’m a little confused, so Gillies didn’t use the cocaine, but a negative drug test wouldn’t prove possession either way. Nor does it prove that Gillies isn’t a user. So are they saying that someone else left that bag of coke on the back seat?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the charges were dropped and he can continue playing, but if he really has a drug issue I want to see him get help.”

    “They” don’t have to say anything if the charges are dropped. Gillies doesn’t have to know how the bag got there. What the Florida prosecutor is saying is that he has little to no chance of convincing a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the bag of coke was Gillies’. It could have been planted, or it could have been left there by a previous occupant of the car. Or Gillies could have been transporting it for a teammate or friend, or could have been planning on using it or selling it. Bottom line is he’s not going to be prosecuted.

    If he’s using Coke, I suspect the Phils would suspect/know, and would use this as leverage to get him help. Guys who use Coke show behavioral and physical signs that would be hard to conceal from teammates and managers and coaches who are in daily contact with you.

    To be clear, this doesn’t prove he’s not a user (since, anyway, you can never “prove” that anyone isn’t a user of anything). This clears him to resume his baseball life, and, if he’s been skirting the edge, it should provide a gigantic push to get him back in line.

  9. Defamation because they arrested him? Un-uh. Maybe false arrest – if they can show that the police acted recklessly or maliciously. (Fat chance) But the problem of proving possession when drugs are found in a car and not on the person is a common one. Police can legitimately arrest on probable cause, but the prosecutor has to determine is there is a reasonable shot at proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Sounds as though he got himself a good attorney – taking a drug test (and knowing how to get one on short notice) is not something that would occur to a lay person.

  10. He immediately is back on the top 10. When healthy, he’s the most advanced position player prospect we have remaining in the system. I hope he’s had plenty of time to get that hamstring 100% and spend some time in some sort of winter ball.

  11. Patrick-

    I agree with you. This bumps him up in the rankings but I still don’t know if he’s top 10. He didn’t have many ABs so who knows really.

  12. mike77 says: “So much for those who said the Phillies should cut him on the spot.”

    Given the Josh Hamilton story I would find it hard to give up on any such players. Obviously not everyone who has a mix of problems and talent will turn out the way Hamilton did, but given that clubs have already put so much time and money into these players they should try their best to help them instead of just dropping them. High ceiling players aren’t very easy to come by so cutting and or leaving one unprotected for another who is probably AAAA isn’t good business, imo. Especially when they are still only minor league players. We forget that these guys are in their early 20s. As long as there is a flicker of talent and drive still apparent they should be allowed to try to get back with their addiction took away from them.

  13. …and, can Gillies get some ABs this off-season? Can he be added to the AFL group by removing one of the Phils others being sent there? Is it too late?

    Really hope he can go somewhere: Winter leagues…even in Mexico…Caribbean?

  14. Speedy Ty Gillies at 6’2″, 213 lbs, is planning to spend the winter in West Canada working with his running trainer—-why not do the same in Clearwater and still get some ABs in with some minor league pitchers! Apparently Ruben A. has him replacing Shane V. in 2012 if things work out as they hope—we shall see. And hopefully Dickie Noles will mentor his off field moves if there is in fact, something suspicious.

  15. Told people know way he gets convicted, not with that lack of evidence they had. But this doesnt make him a player, sorry jury is still out if he will hit. stupid comment wonder if he sues, they found a bag of drugs after he left the car, what are they going to sue for, right away people want to sue.

  16. I’m happy they withdrew the charges but really have to question why they were brought in the first place. He accepted a ride from this cop didn’t he? Does anybody with drugs on his person do that? I’m an honest law abiding citizen and I try to avoid law enforcement under any circumstances. Even when they might be helpful.

  17. I’ll chime in and agree that Gilles needs to get healthy and get extra ABs if possible this winter and early spring.

  18. Eagleye5 “Lee trade”????? The cops probably don’t know or care. He was a top ranked prospect that’s it.

    Anyway it’s history now and Gillies has to be sure to keep it that way.

  19. Anyone think they can get Gillies onto the team when Ibanez’s contract expires? It’ll be a huge rush, but he slots in perfectly to replace him.

    Unless we can find a big, right-handed bat to replace the loss of Werth (which I find highly doubtful), I’d take an outfield of Gillies, Victorino, Brown. Or Brown, Victorino, Gillies, I don’t know the order.

    Or we could get Comcast to fork over some TV money to keep Werth, and bring Gillies in later to replace Victorino, if Gillies can get his average up.

  20. Glad to hear all charges are dropped but have to laugh at the conspiracy stuff about those “southern cops” keeping drugs around just waiting for the opportunity to frame the poor black kid. (someone watches too much TV). Does anyone even know if the cops were white/black? IF they wanted to set the guy up, they would have put the drugs in his pocket and then “found” them so they could prove posession not claim they found the drugs in the car afterwards.

    In the end, we don’t know if Gillies was just a victim of bad circumstances or if he did drop the bag in the car. By all accounts, he’s never had issues in the past so I’m inclined to believe the former. Either way, this incident will soon be a distant memory.

  21. Well, at the very least, Gillies is guilty of poor judgment in standing on the side of the road waiving his shirt. I don’t know what that was about, but it certainly was not conducive to a positive outcome. My guess is he’ll heal up, learn and next year will be a fresh start for him. However, you now have to put him a year behind in his development, although, if he plays well, he could still be on a track to replace Victorino assuming the hamstring injury gets better, a fairly significant assumption.

  22. Its great to hear how well DeFratus, Aumont and Jul Rod are doing in the tourney. Anyone have any info on Instructional League goings on? How has Singleton looked in the outfield? How does Eldmire look? Any injury updates on Cosart and Nick Hernandez?

  23. Todd Zolecki noted (check out the “Worth Noting” section at the bottom of the article linked below) that: 1) Singleton seems to be acclimating himself to OF fairly well so far and 2) Cosart is throwing at 98 again….

  24. Yes RULZ and everyone in prison is innocent!

    But the comment I responded to was a statement that the goal of southern cops is to set up “chosen blacks”. Maybe I’m wrong but this certainly implies a racial motivation in which case I’m not sure why a southern black cop would want to frame a “chosen black”. If you’re inclined to believe such nonsense, then wouldn’t the race of the officers be an important thing to know before playing the race card?

  25. Even though the charges were dropped and he his tests came back negative I worry if the Phillies would still attempt to release him because of the bad publicity around the situation.

  26. I was no talking about the police, rather since he was in the Lee deal(which looked even worse when the arrest went down) the STORY of his arrest got a lot more national pub than it would have if he was just Tyson Gillies former Phillies 5th round pick…..because he was in the Lee deal he was more of a national name.

  27. I doubt if the Phillies release Gillies. He is only guilty of poor judgement right now (being drunk in public). The kid is a high ceiling player who had a real bad year. I expect a nice comeback year for him.

  28. no chance they release him he is a great guy and has great energy. tyson is a great kid and my guess is that he had nothing to do with that coke. theres noway he would have gotten into that car if he had it on him. plus if he was that drunk they would have given him a drunken in public ticket. theres noway they would have let him get away clean if they had anything on him.

  29. “How does this set Gillies back a year in development?? He was injured.”

    That represents what I THINK is a pretty serious misconception arround here: that a year lost to injury does not set back a player’s development Actually, stated that absolutely, I’m SURE it’s wrng. But how much does it set the player back? A full year … probably not. But I’d say that it’s closer to losing a year than not losing anything at all.

    I say I THINK because I think logically a year of not playing is … well, literally … the same as losing development time for non-injury reasons. What wouldn’t it? You can’t learn to play baseball by sitting on the bench. Sure, physical development continues, but I’d wager that player development is mostly learning/practicing, as opposed to simply growing.

    But I’m not SURE I’m right. Is there data on this? How do players who lose a year to injury develop, compared to players who lose a year for other reasons? (Or to players who are a year older with equivelant performance, but don’t lose any time?)

  30. Developement of players is complicated. Some players need physical growth. Others need maturity. Others need to learn the game either by watching or playing. And others need an attitude adjustment. Severity of injury is also significant.
    I think the injury to Drabek, for example, was actually helpful. The Phillies could not rush him and he had a chance to see how quickly he career could end.

    For Gillies, I think his Spring Training time was very important. The minors were supposed to build on what he learned. He missed most of that application in my opinion but did have time to adjust to a new organization. He is unblocked at Reading again as the starting CF and has little pressure to replace Victorino next season while Francisco and Mayberry could also be around through 2012. If he is great he could be a Sept 2011 callup for his speed. If he lags he has another entire season to develop at AAA.

  31. It might be a mistake to promote him next year while the “wound” is fresh and there are media sharks in the water. Two years ago carries a lot less weight than “last year”. Vic stays healthy just cool it.

  32. 3UP:

    If there was none of the stuff by “southern” cops”…or to a lesser extent to the north and mid-west, then the phrase “driving while black” could never have been validly coined…and to be backed by statistics through the country with southern members of the constabulary in the lead.

    Placing evidence on people assumed to be guilty by the “authorities” has been a longtime practice..particularly planting gifts of drugs by the cops to the black accused (the easiest targets)…and others, too.

    The crazy thing is…some people actually approve. “The (guy/girl) deserved to be convicted anyway” is the common underground word.


  33. uh could it be that the phrase was coined by african americans, and that the statistics show that quite possibly african americans commit crimes at a higher rate than some other ethnicities for whatever reason?

  34. Art D.

    The term driving while black refers to the frequency at which minorities are stopped by police for “suspicious” activities and in those situations many studies show some validity to the argument that there is a disparity.

    Its certainly possible that a higher frequency of stops results in a higher % of arrests for posession and other similiar violations but there’s a big difference between potential profiling and the planting of evidence.

  35. The dropping of these charges simply means the deep South District Attorney, an elected official , did not believe he could obtain a conviction under the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt under the prevailing system of Justice in the USA. To believe that this magically proves that Tyson Gillies was not in possession of , or a user and/or distributor of Cocaine does not have foundation and belief that it does by commentators might ilustrate why they can concoct such off the wall opinions on other subjects.

  36. Perhaps this is similar to the case of the Football player Rothliesberger, who , though generally believed to have raped the Milledgeville Georgia , Georgia State college (adbmittedly ) bad girl, charges were not brought because it was not thought a conviction could be gotten under the system. The DA’s statement on ESPNEWS conveyed his thoughts in that regard.

  37. Also, in a case brought to trial, the O.J. Simpson farce. In fact, the statement about ” good name and reputation” brings to mind the “search for the real killers” thing. Perhaps some help on that can be provided now that O. J. is in the pen for armed robbery.

  38. There is a sentiment about that Tyson Gillies , even if slightly guilty (or not) will see this as an opportunity to straighten up and fly right, that remains to be seen.
    Never cared about the status vis-a-vis the criminal justice system, never will.
    The Question , did he do the deed or not. If he did, the he can still be a bad apple.
    The Question, if so, still a user and/or distributor.
    If the Minor League Administration wants a proper outcome they can grow some spines and give the option ” Walk the Straight and Narrow Path, or Walk the Plank.

  39. marfis
    Walking the straight …. may not be enough. He was made himself a target for money grabbers and people who want their “15 seconds” of fame. Bars are also out of the question. One horse’s ass with beer muscles
    can start something. Be good and be smart should be his new motto.

  40. This conversation has really taken a somewhat ugly and unnecessary left-hand turn. A lot of good kids make pretty bad mistakes and, here, there’s not even proof that this kid did a bad thing (have cocaine) as opposed to just a stupid thing (waved down police late at night with his shirt on a crowded street). All other reports on Gillies point to him being a positive, energetic and good guy. I am not going to throw that out just because of a dropped charge that does not involve violence to other people, even if the charge was serious. For anyone to even make reference to O.J. Simpson in relation to what happened to Gillies is just wrong. Can we all move on now? If he’s a bad kid we’ll all know soon enough, but my feeling is that this is soon going to be a distant memory.

  41. And where is your proof that Gillies was using/dealing, Marfis, despite no fingerprints on the bag, Gillies testing clean and the bag not even being found on him? Do you really believe he just dropped a bag of cocaine in a police car? That’s not just stupid, that’s too dumb to live.

    So we are to believe that Gillies is a) smart enough to not use and not to get his fingerprints on the bag, but b) dumb enough to get into a police car and drop his bag of cocaine?

  42. To clarify, I meant that Gillies dropping his bag of cocaine in a police car was not just stupid, but too dumb to live (on his part).

  43. Marfis- no one is saying it proves he has never used cocaine, although on the only night anyone has ever had any reason to associate him with cocaine, he took a drug test that showed he had none in his system. So we know about as much about Gillies and cocaine as we do about Phillippe Aumont and cocaine, or Jason Donald and cocaine, or Chase Utley and cocaine, or whoever else.

    And to repeatedly drop references to ‘distribution’ when the original police report said it was a ‘small bag’ of white powder is just silly and shows your bias. Not sure why you want to smear this kid who you know nothing about, but its not necessary, and doesn’t belong on this site.

  44. Let me just add one thing here. The minor league drug testing program tests for drugs of abuse. I won’t say that Gillies is absolutely certain to be clean. But considering he’s tested as part of his job, I think he deserves every benefit of the doubt at this point.

  45. Regarding baseball: AFL starts today although several of our AFL pitchers are still in the tourney and not there yet.

  46. I for one am giving tyson the benefit of the doubt because nothing substantial has been proven whatsoever, the evidenced seems flimsy and because he just seems like a good kid who may or may not have made a big mistake, I think the latter is true based upon the evidence. I hope his character was not too badly miligned and that people soon forget these charges brought against him.

  47. Great news on Cosart! All he needs is a full year under his belt to establish consistency. The guy has always had the tools, seems to have added the work ethic, now just needs to pitch!

  48. I will be very happy with a .290-.300 BA with an OBP of .350+ repeating Reading . I think this might get him a late callup to LHV and make him close to MLB ready, maybe mid to late 2012 if all goes well. This should make him the likely replacement for victorino. I think he has a 5% chance of really breaking out ie .315 w/ 375 OBP and 30 steals then 280 w/ .350 OBP with 20 steals after late june callup to LHV. This might give him a cup of joe in Sept. and could replace ibanez to start in April. Does anyone else predict a breakout for Gillies this year.

  49. Great to hear Cosart is pitching again. Didn’t take him long to get the arm strength up (98 MPH) hope he isn’t overthrowing trying to make up for lost time…

    Also great to read that Singleton doesn’t appear to be overmatched in the outfield. Left field is definitely higher on the defensive spectrum than 1st base, and certainly, having the ability to play two positions well gives the team that much more flexibility as he progresses up the system.

    I’m super excited that the charges against Gilles were dropped. We’ll never know what really happened – but at the end of the day he wasn’t convicted so let’s get behind the kid and root for him. Outside of this episode, everything I’ve ever heard has been very positive. Hard workers tend to be motivated by adversity and I think he comes out of the gate next year with a chip on his shoulder and hell bent on winning back management and the fans.

  50. Arresting him WITH NO EVIDENCE!!

    What doubt is there about that? Giving him “the benefit of the doubt” when there is NO evidence against him?? An arrest is not evidence. What “doubt” is there? Does anybody here, or anywhere, conclude that an arrest IS EVIDENCE?

    No sane person in our justice system would reach that conclusion. If you are standing near an arson fire is that evidence that you committed arson? What about thew others standing there? Is that EVIDENCE that you are an arsonist.

    Please understand that an arrest is NOT any evidence of a crime. Nor any proof that you have committed a crime.

    All we have is an arrest without evidence of a crime. What “doubt” arises from that?
    Of course, if the arrested person is black….is THAT evidence of a crime?

    Anybody who says they will give him the benefit of the “doubt” should brush up on our justice system. A standard jury instruction in criminal trials is: An arrest is NOT evidence of a crime.

    Where’s the “doubt” to give him the benefit of? Unless we’re living in a dictatorship, we require EVIDENCE of a crime for conviction let alone to bring the matter to trial. In this case, I suspect that bigotry gives that “doubt.”

  51. I know it’s late in the thread but I wanted to put this out regarding the conduct of police departments in general. That blacks and other minorities are arrested more than their white counterparts is a statistical fact. That may show racial bias or something more common-laziness. Stereotyping is a lazy form of thinking that when practiced by law enforcement leads to unequal justice.

  52. Art D, I studied Political Science in college. I’m well aware of the standards of the legal system. The court of public opinion is NOT the same as the court of law. If I’m not on a jury, I’m not obliged to hold that standard. Now, do we have a single, solitary reason to think Gillies is a cocaine user? None beyond that he was arrested on suspicion. I counted the evidence on the other side, that he has never failed a drug test and the charges were dropped, and said that it probably outweighs the former. Now you might get upset over the wording and that’s my fault. I do not think Gillies is a cocaine user, and I don’t think we can say so unless there is something more substantial to base that on.

    As far as racism. I find that accusation reprehensible and unnecessary. I doubt most of us would react differently if a prospect of any race was arrested for cocaine use.

  53. Wow! take a deep breath and count to ten Art. I think most of us believe that he is innocent but that little “doubt” is the flimsy evidence. To speak to your analogy of the arsonist, it doesn’t prove that you are not the one who committed arson either. All those near would be questioned and it would be determined if further examination would be necessary. I guess if one of those standing there was african american you would have a problem with him being questioned. I can’t believe your arrogance in tossing around words like bigotry and the implicit racist accusations.
    I think the easy road is to say more blacks are in jail because of racism against them when there are many factors contributing to blacks commiting more crimes such as poverty, education, no father figure, joining gangs for survival, resentment towards “the man”, victim mentality, prejudice, hopelessnes etc.

  54. I am white as anybody but if you think that is any form of protection from “coin operated justice” or preset prejudice of any kind, FORGET IT.
    I was accused by a women school teacher or minor crap. Automatically I was wrong and police embellished the report until I was Frankenstein’s bad older brother.
    BTW except every one to have their hands in your pocket.

  55. or = of sorry Btw the woman was in full road rage and still called the cops even though she almost killed me and others. Don’t expect logic either,

  56. Gotta take Art D’s side on this. If you believe in our American legal system, then to be found innocent by a jury is supposed to remove any doubt that you may really be guilty. To have the prosecugtro conclude that there is little enough evidence of guilt to even bother presenting the case to the jury is a level of innocence beyond the jury verdict. The prosecutor has a duty not to prosecute those he believes are innocent. The Florida police have certainly been known to harass and wrongfully arrest black men. To say there is residual doubt based on the arrest, which the prosecutor is unwilling to support, seems unfair.

  57. There really is only one guy still convicting this young man based on “assumed guilt”. He already expressed his fascist and racist views in the thread that announced Gillies arrest. His bias won’t allow him to listen to reason, so why try.

  58. Anonymous,

    not to nit-pick but a jury doesn’t find a person “innocent”, they find them “not guilty”, point being that the jury’s standard for conviction is that they need to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt. This is quite different from having no suspicions.

    As for the prosecutor, his job is to determine if enough evidence exists and if the case is worth the effort of trying to prosecution. There are many circumstances where a prosecutor chooses not to pursue a case simply because they don’t think there’s much evidence and the potential conviction isn’t worth the effort.

    In Gillies case, there was very little evidence against a young man with no prior record. Even on the slim chance he would have been convicted, he most likely gets probation anyway so I expect the prosecutor in this case decided to pass.

    As I stated previously, I believe that Gillies was a victim of circumstances mostly because nothing else is out there indicating that he has ever had any problems. But I certainly don’t think that the case being dropped automatically exonerates Gillies any more than being arrested proves his guilt.

  59. Why don’t we give our guy the benefit of the doubt. Seriously, he’s never tested positive for any illegal drugs, he didn’t test positive at the time of his arrest, and all the charges (which were really weak from the start) were dropped.

    Give the guy a damn break and let him play ball.

    At worst, he probably learned a great lesson on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I fully expect him to bounce back healthy and have a great season in 2011.

  60. “I certainly don’t think that the case being dropped automatically exonerates Gillies”
    That is exactly what it means.

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