Harrell, 28, was pulled over in Richmond, Kentucky, by a state trooper May 12 for driving behind a vehicle too closely, news outlets reported Monday, citing court records. The trooper said he smelled marijuana and, after a search, discovered three pounds of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags inside a backpack in the backseat.
Harrell has been charged with trafficking less than five pounds of marijuana. If convicted on that count, he could face up to five years in prison. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 13 in Madison County District Court.
Harrell, a former star for Louisville, has played seven seasons in the NBA, including three seasons with the LA Clippers and two with the Houston Rockets. He was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline and averaged 11.4 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 64.5% from the field. Harrell will be a free agent this summer.
It was not immediately clear whether Harrell had an attorney who could comment on his behalf. The Hornets declined comment, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.