Former Los Angeles Kings forward Mike Richards has been charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance, the RCMP announced Thursday morning.
Richards was charged on Aug. 25, 2015, two sources told TSN. He has not yet entered a plea. Richards has a court hearing on Sept. 10.
Richards was arrested on June 17 in Emerson, MB at about 2 p.m., RCMP constable Paul Human told TSN.
Canadian border guards found “some pills in a single bottle” during a random search of Richards’ car and he was arrested by RCMP, a source told TSN. “It was clearly a small quantity intended for his personal use,” the source told TSN.
Previously published reports have said the pills were OxyContin. A source close to Richards declined to say whether he has had a prescription for the narcotic pain reliever.
It's likely that at the Sept. 10 court hearing, the case will be adjourned for at least several weeks because Richards' legal team has not yet obtained through discovery police documents related to the case.
Under Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, prosecutors will be able to choose whether to proceed with the case summarily, which is typically the case for first-time offenders, or through an indictment, which is used for repeat and serious offenders.
If prosecutors proceed summarily, Richards faces a maximum $1,000 fine or up to six months in prison. If prosecutors proceed by indictment, he faces up to seven years in prison.
The Kings terminated Richards' contract in late June for what they called "a material breach of the requirements" of his contract.
The NHL Players' Association has since filed a grievance on behalf of Richards against the Kings, contesting the termination of his contract. Richards had five years and $22-million left on his deal. No date has been set for the hearing.
Richards, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Kings, is currently a free agent.