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Phelps In Legal Hot Water?

Feb. 3 2009, Published 3:53 p.m. ET

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Bong smoking (l) and Sheriff Lott (r) do not mix. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps may be in legal hot water for smoking pot in South Carolina.

As earlier reported, Phelps was photographed smoking a bong at a November party in Columbia, South Carolina.

Now, the local Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Phelps with a crime if he determines the 14-time Gold Medal Winner smoked marijuana in Richland County.

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This case is no different than any other case," Lott said Monday. "This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It's a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred."

Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a $570 fine, plus court costs.

Phelps has apologized, calling his behavior "inappropriate."

UPDATE: The sheriff's department tells it will release a statement sometime today about its investigation into Phelps.

We'll bring you breaking developments as they happen.


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