November 7, 2005

Rose Jr. pleads guilty to drug charge in Tennessee

By Pat Harris

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Pete Rose Jr., a minor
league baseball player and son of baseball's all-time hits
leader, pleaded guilty on Monday to distributing an illegal
euphoria-producing drug to players, authorities said.

Paul O'Brien, the assistant U.S. attorney in Nashville,
indicated Rose had cooperated in a nationwide drug
investigation, making it unlikely that he would get the maximum
20-year sentence.

Rose, 35, surrendered to authorities in Nashville on a
charge of conspiracy to distribute GBL, or gamma-butyrolactone,
a chemical that is often used as a cleaning solvent but can
also produce a euphoric effect, said Harry Summers of the Drug
Enforcement Agency.

"It's extremely dangerous and never made for human
consumption," Summers said, adding that GBL closely resembles
the so-called date-rape drug GHB (gamma-hydroxbutyrate), which
also is illegal.

The charge against Rose, whose father was banned from
baseball for gambling, accused him of conspiracy to distribute
the drug in 1997 to members of the Chattanooga Lookouts, a
minor league team in Tennessee affiliated with the Cincinnati

Rose was freed on Monday on his own recognizance by Judge
Robert Echols of the U.S. District Court, who set sentencing
for February 20.

Speaking at a news conference, O'Brien said a nationwide
investigation by the DEA of GBL began more than two years ago
and had culminated in charges against 13 others and more than
$1.2 million dollars in drug proceeds seized.

He said the ringleader was Bruce Wayne of Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, who was arrested in 2004 and is now a fugitive after
failing to appear for sentencing. It was Wayne who shipped GBL
to Rose, he said.

Rose has bounced around baseball's minor leagues since 1989
and last played during the summer with the Long Island Ducks in
New York. He did make it up to the Reds for 14 at-bats in 1997.

Pete Rose Sr. starred for the Reds for years and also
played for Philadelphia and Montreal. He finished his 24-season
Major League career in 1986 with 4,256 hits in 3,562 games,
both records.

After his playing career, the senior Rose was banned from
baseball in 1989 for having gambled on games while managing the
Reds, missing out on certain induction to the Hall of Fame,
though he is lobbying to be reinstated. In 1990, he served five
months in prison for tax evasion.