Standout Iowa receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos made his initial court appearance Wednesday on drug charges that have shocked Hawkeye fans and left his future in doubt.
Johnson-Koulianos, Iowa's all-time leading receiver and a fan favorite nicknamed ``DJK,'' is not accused of dealing drugs. But he is charged with allowing drugs to be used ``and likely sold'' from his home in a quiet neighborhood several blocks from campus, and with possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana. Police say he tested positive and admitted using both.
Decked out in big glasses and sports jacket over a turtleneck, Johnson-Koulianos smiled for photographers as he entered the Johnson County courtroom, but later grew much more somber. He stood with his hands behind his back as Judge Stephen Gerard read the seven charges against him and the potential jail time — up to 7 1/2 years — and fines he faces. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing and an arraignment date was not immediately scheduled.
He walked out of the courthouse without commenting and left in a car driven by defense attorney John Beasley, who also declined comment.
The 23-year-old receiver and his roommate, 21-year-old Brady Cooper Johnson, were charged on Tuesday after police officers raided their Iowa City home. Johnson-Koulianos was released after posting $8,000 bond. Johnson made his initial appearance by video from the jail, where he was later released on $14,500 bond. The two are not related.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz suspended Johnson-Koulianos from team activities after learning of the arrest, which came as Iowa begins to prepare to play Missouri in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28.
Johnson-Koulianos, a senior from Campbell, Ohio, received first-team all-Big Ten honors from the conference's coaches last month. He finished the regular season with 46 receptions for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns, becoming Iowa's career leader in receptions and receiving yards in the process. He was the first player ever to lead the Hawkeyes in receiving his first three seasons.
Police say they found marijuana, more than $3,000 in cash, a digital scale and other items used to sell drugs throughout the residence. The player's roommate, Johnson, was accused of ``selling large amounts of marijuana'' in a criminal complaint, and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and other charges.
The complaint against Johnson-Koulianos does not accuse him of dealing drugs. Instead, it says officers located cocaine residue, ``small quantities of marijuana'' in his bedroom, and a variety of legal painkillers and muscle relaxers for which he did not have prescriptions.
The complaint said Johnson-Koulianos agreed to take a urine test and tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.
He allegedly told officers he had used drugs and they obtained ``electronic media'' showing him possessing cocaine. He told police he got the pills from friends and took some to relieve pain.
Johnson-Koulianos is charged with keeping a drug house because ``he knew drugs were being used and likely sold out of the residence,'' the complaint said. That charge can be filed against anyone who knowingly allows their residence to be used to do, store and sell drugs. He is also charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs.
Iowa graduate Brian Rorris, 25, said he was surprised to walk into the home while officers were carrying out the warrant Tuesday and was immediately handcuffed. He said he is friends with Brady Johnson, and the two had been planning to take their dogs to a nearby park.
Rorris said officers inventoried the drugs and seized electronic equipment such as video game consoles and cell phones. Rorris, who was released after officers searched him and his vehicle, said Johnson-Koulianos cooperated with police and told officers he ``didn't want any sort of trouble.''
``I think he was a little bit shell-shocked,'' Rorris said. ``I just feel really bad for him. It just sounds so much worse than it really is.''
DJK appears in court on drug charges
EARLIER STORY: IOWA CITY — Iowa wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos has been released after making his initial court appearance on drug charges.
The senior nicknamed "DJK" declined comment as he left the Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City on Wednesday morning following the brief hearing. He left in a car driven by his attorney, John Beasley.
The 23-year-old and his roommate, 21-year-old Brady Cooper Johnson, were charged on Tuesday after police officers raided their Iowa City home. Johnson-Koulianos was released from jail on Tuesday evening after posting $8,000 bond.
Johnson-Koulianos is charged with possession of prescription drugs, cocaine, marijuana and keeping a drug house. Officers say they found a small amount of marijuana and cocaine residue and painkillers and other prescription drugs.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz suspended Johnson-Koulianos from team activities.
— The Associated Press
Hawks receiver DJK arrested on drug charges
EARLIER STORY: The most prolific pass-catcher in Iowa football history apparently has played his last game for the Hawkeyes. Senior wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was arrested on drug charges Tuesday and released from Johnson County Jail after posting $8,000 bail.
The 23-year-old was expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday on four counts of possession of controlled substances, keeping a drug house and two counts of unlawful possession of a prescription drug.
Court documents say Johnson-Koulianos and a roommate were arrested after officers executed a search warrant as part of a drug investigation. Police say investigators found more than $3,000 in cash, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs in their house.
“I am highly disappointed to learn of the charges,’’ Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Derrell has been suspended from all team activities.’’
That presumably includes the Dec. 28 Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., where the 7-5 Hawkeyes take on Missouri.
Johnson-Koulianos is Iowa's career leader in receptions and receiving yardage and was a first-team all-Big Ten pick this season. He caught 46 passes for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns this fall. For his career, he has 173 receptions for 2,616 yards, both Iowa records.
The senior from Campbell, Ohio, has been in and out of the good graces of Ferentz throughout his career. He did not start the final game of the regular season at Minnesota a week ago Saturday and Ferentz’s only explanation was that fellow senior Colin Sandeman had a better week of practice.
Johnson-Koulianos has been barred from speaking to members of the media for most of the season despite his run at the school’s receiving standards. Ferentz has given little explanation for that but often has alluded to Johnson-Koulianos’ affinity for social networking.
The coach told reporters in early October that they would be able to speak to Johnson-Koulianos only after the season was over.
“I think he loves you guys actually, talking in general terms,’’ Ferentz said at the time. “You can move in with him in January. Help yourself. I told him that, too. He can Twitter, can have a ball.’’