Four Northern State football players were charged Thursday with marijuana-related charges according to a news release from the Aberdeen Police Department.

Those four players — sophomores AJ Frazier, Chuck Chandler, Drew Gibbs and Isaac Hodge — have been suspended from the team indefinitely pending a full investigation, according to Northern State director of communications Justin Fraase.

Wolves head coach Tom Dosch confirmed Tuesday that he was aware of the legal situation with his players and said that the team would follow all protocol as instructed in the university’s Student-Athlete Handbook but directed further questions to Fraase.

Fraase answered several questions by phone, but also emailed a written statement to the American News, which included the following:

“We are aware of the recent charges against a small group of Northern students, and we at the university take such allegations very seriously. All NSU students must adhere to our student code of conduct, and we are currently conducting a campus investigation to determine if that code has been violated. We are also willing to assist the Aberdeen Police Department in its investigation as needed.”

The charges vary from player to player, and one other non-player is charged in relation to the drug task force search of two Aberdeen homes last week which found 9.47 pounds of marijuana.

Gibbs, listed in the legal documents as John Boyd Gibbs, has been charged with possession of marijuana and intent to distribute and ingestion. Antonio Lamar Frazier and Charles W. Chandler are charged with possession and ingestion. Hodge faces an ingestion charge.

From a football standpoint, all four players were expected to be significant contributors this upcoming season. Frazier started the latter part of last season at defensive back, while Gibbs and Chandler both saw the field on the defense in 2017 with a good chance to increase in playing time in 2018. Hodge wasn’t with the team last season but returned this spring as a defensive back after a relatively successful redshirt freshman season at wide receiver in 2016.

Fraase said the university investigation into the incident is being undertaken by the student affairs office. When the investigation has been completed, further action may be taken, including potential expulsion from the football team, the school, or both. In the meantime, the players will not be allowed to attend any team functions including practices or meetings, but they are allowed to attend classes as long as there isn’t deemed to be a threat to other students, which does not appear to be the case.

Frazier is from San Pedro, Calif. Gibbs is from Soldotna, Alaska. Chandler is from Anchorage, Alaska. Hodge is from Minneapolis. All four men are listed as being 20 years old in the release from the police department. A fifth person, Bailey Jay Alonge, 19, was arrested with the four players on ingestion and possession charges.

The amount of marijuana found has a street value of $18,000, the police department release said. The police investigation is ongoing, and further charges and arrests may follow.

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