Miami baseball player faces marijuana, HGH charges

Sep 10, 2010 - 12:45 AM By TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- A Miami baseball player was arrested and charged with trying to sell marijuana to undercover officers on university grounds, and police later found 19 vials of human growth hormone at his apartment.

Frank Ratcliff, 19, of Key West, Fla. was charged Thursday with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

Ratcliff was freed on bond Thursday afternoon. It was not immediately known if he retained an attorney, and court records did not indicate if his next court appearance has been scheduled.

Ratcliff was suspended indefinitely from all athletic activities, the university said in a release, declining further comment.

Acting on a tip, undercover Coral Gables police officers allegedly arranged to purchase 21 grams of marijuana from Ratcliff for $220 on Wednesday, said Officer Kelly Denham. After Ratcliff went to retrieve the marijuana, he was placed under arrest without incident and later consented to a search of his apartment.

There, Denham said, officers found another 101 grams of marijuana, plus 19 vials of Hygetropin, a synthetic form of HGH.

Denham said the most serious charge is the one relating to selling marijuana on school grounds, which under Florida law carries a minimum three-year prison sentence if found guilty.

"When you sell on school grounds, any school grounds, you're going away for three years minimum," Denham said. "People need to think about what they do."

The officers did not go to Ratcliff's apartment expecting to find any performance-enhancing drugs, Denham said. The tip police received only was related to marijuana sales on campus.

"That was a shock," Denham said.

Ratcliff appeared in 57 games for the Hurricanes as a freshman infielder last season, 52 of them as a starter. He batted .276 with six homers and 29 RBIs, plus led the team with six triples.

Miami does not open fall practice for the 2011 season until mid-October.

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