Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis turned himself in on Thursday and pleaded not guilty one day after he was indicted on federal drug charges by a grand jury in Atlanta.
The NFL's leading rusher in the 2003 season has been accused of trying to help a childhood friend buy cocaine in the summer of 2000.
The indictment handed down Wednesday charges Lewis with one count of conspiracy to intentionally possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. An additional count charges the 24-year-old Lewis with using a wireless communication device to carry out the conspiracy.
Lewis was released after a 15-minute hearing in federal magistrate court on $500,000 bond.
In addition to recording the second-highest single-season yardage total in NFL history (2,066 yards) in 2003, Lewis also broke the NFL's single-game rushing record with a 295-yard effort against Cleveland on September 14.
Lewis was suspended four games by the NFL in November of 2001 for a repeat violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
Although the suspension did not cause him to miss any games that year, because the running back was already out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, it did cost him $232,941 in salary.
The University of Tennessee product was Baltimore's first-round pick in the 2000 draft (fifth overall), and rushed for 1,364 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV.