Dukes charged with misdemeanor pot possession

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect Elijah Dukes was arrested this week and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop.

The 22-year-old Dukes, who lives in nearby Brandon, was pulled over in his 2006 Dodge Charger on Monday night because of a loud music violation, police said Tuesday.

An officer smelled marijuana, and a search by a police dog found less than two grams of marijuana in the car's center console, police said.

A 23-year-old passenger was also arrested. Both men were released on the promise that they appear in court later.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Dukes is listed on the Devil Rays' 40-man roster. A third-round draft pick in 2002, the switch-hitting outfielder has a history of problems on and off the field.

Dukes was suspended for 15 games at Triple-A Durham last year for disciplinary reasons. He was suspended for five games by the International League after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Dukes also publicly criticized the Tampa Bay organization last year and the conditions at Durham.

"We appreciate the seriousness of this incident, but the Devil Rays organization will not make any further comment while this remains a pending legal matter," the team said in a statement.