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Investigation found lack of evidence for criminal law violation

For a brief period, the future did not look too bright for members of the University of Minnesota wrestling team. Several team members were accused of violating criminal law regarding the purchase and sale prescription medications. The head coach was also in the spotlight for allegedly covering up some of his team members' drug use.

Campus police were apparently already investigating 12 different students for using and selling Xanax when the wrestling coach became aware of the situation. At that point, the coach requested that his players undergo drug tests and voluntarily surrender the Xanax. The players were also told that if they completed these tasks and then submitted a letter outlining their actions, they would be given amnesty for any of their alleged actions and access to a drug treatment program.

An anonymous complaint made through the University of Minnesota's reporting system claimed that the coach had been trying to conceal his players' actions rather than genuinely trying to help them. This claim launched a criminal investigation that resulted in the university placing the coach on paid leave in Jun 2016. Ultimately, prosecutors declined to file charges citing a lack of evidence, although the university's internal investigation is still ongoing.

Criminal investigations do not always result in charges being filed, but this is usually not evident during the process. Because individuals being investigated for possibly violating criminal law cannot be sure if enough evidence will be found in order to support certain allegations, it is usually well advised for defendants to begin considering possible defense strategies even before charges are officially filed. Doing so helps prepare defendants for the possibility of facing the serious consequences of most criminal charges.

Source: mprnews.org, "No criminal charges after drug investigation of U of M wrestlers", Peter Cox, June 30, 2016

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