SHORT TAKES : Chuck Berry Denies Drug Use

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Rock ‘n’ roll great Chuck Berry denied ever using cocaine, after making a surprise stop at a news conference called by authorities to announce that a raid on his home turned up drugs and guns.

Berry’s estate in Wentzville, about 40 miles west of St. Louis, was raided Saturday while the 63-year-old singer known for hits like “Johnny B. Goode” was away.

St. Charles County drug agents found and seized several plastic bags of marijuana, an unspecified quantity of hashish, two rifles and a shotgun, $122,000, and pornographic videotapes, slides and books, county Prosecuting Atty. William Hannah said Thursday.

No charges were filed; Hannah said none could be filed until all the evidence was reviewed, probably not before Tuesday.


In an affidavit filed in Circuit Court, federal drug agents said they began investigating Berry in December, 1988, suspecting him of carrying cocaine in his guitar case and briefcase.

Berry’s attorney, Wayne Schoeneberg, questioned the basis for the investigation and called some of the allegations in the affidavit ludicrous.

“I have never used cocaine . . . and nobody in my band has used it,” Berry told reporters after the news conference.