LACONIA — A cocaine possession charge against New England Patriots football player Patrick Chung has been dropped as part of a settlement agreement that calls for Chung to remain on good behavior for two years and undergo periodic drug testing.
Under the terms of the agreement, Chung, 32, agreed to submit to drug testing at a laboratory to be approved by the state once a month for the first year, and every 90 days for the second. Chung has additionally agreed to provide the state with a copy of the results and sign a waiver allowing the prosecutor to contact the lab directly to verify its findings.
Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois said he agreed to conditionally not prosecute the case as Chung has no prior criminal record, and the amount of cocaine allegedly seized by police was small, consistent with personal use. He also took into consideration that Chung was fully cooperative with Meredith police the night of the incident.
Prior to the agreement being reached, Chung had already undergone an evaluation by a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor who concluded he did not require treatment for substance abuse, Livernois said.
The terms of the settlement further call for Chung to complete 40 hours of community service, within 18 months, half of which must be completed in New Hampshire, involving youth and drug abuse prevention and education.
Earlier this month, legal filings in the case hinted that a settlement was being negotiated.
In support of a two-week postponement, Livernois cited the best interest of judicial economy and being “actively engaged in negotiations regarding a possible resolution of this case,” as among the reasons for his request.
Chung, 32, had been scheduled to appear in Belknap County Superior Court Tuesday for a a meeting between the prosecutor, defense attorney and judge. Typically, a plea offer has been made prior to such a hearing and during the meeting the lawyers will inform the judge whether they have negotiated a resolution, that they expect to come to an agreement through further efforts, or a settlement is unlikely and the case should be scheduled for trial.
Chung, the Patriots’ starting strong safety, was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in August on a lone Class B felony count of knowingly possessing or having under his control a quantity of a controlled drug, stemming from an incident at a home Chung owns in Meredith on June 25. He had pleaded not guilty, waived arraignment and never set foot in a New Hampshire courtroom.
While Monday’s announcement means that state will not seek to prosecute Chung on the felony charge, under the terms of the agreement were Chung to violate any of the conditions that were imposed, the county attorney could request that the case be reactivated.
Chung, who played college football at Oregon, was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. In March 2018, the team signed him to a two-year $7.80 million contract extension. In April, Chung signed a one-year extension, keeping him with the team through the 2021 season.