Panthers Shi Smith Gets Diversion Program Following Arrest

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Shi Smith has been ordered to complete a diversion program in relation to drug and firearm charges he received earlier this year.

The 24-year-old, 2021 sixth-round pick out of South Carolina was pulled over back in March in his hometown of Union, S.C.

During the otherwise routine traffic stop, officers found that Smith had 49 grams of marijuana on him. They also found that he had a gun despite not having a concealed carry permit, according to The Herald.

He was charged with charges of possession of an unlawful handgun and a narcotic with intent to distribute. At the time, Smith was released on $5,000 bond for the drug charge and $1,000 for the weapons charge.

Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor, said that Smith qualified for the diversion program and had no previous criminal record.

“This is appropriate for anyone in similar circumstances,” Brackett said. He also said that Smith did not receive any special treatment given his status as a pro football player.

Smith's charges will stay pending until he completes the diversion program.

The Panthers wideout submitted a letter to prosecutors in which he apologized and noted his commitment to completing the program.

This season, Smith has 10 catches for 142 yards.

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Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.