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Former USC and Raiders quarterback charged with drug and trespassing offenses after nude break-in

Todd Marinovich
In this Sept. 20, 1992, photo, then-Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich is tackled by Cleveland Browns linebacker Richard Brown during a game in Los Angeles. Marinovich was charged Tuesday with five misdemeanor offenses.
(Associated Press)

A former USC and Raiders quarterback who has struggled for years with drug use, was charged Tuesday after he was found naked in the backyard of an Irvine home trying to dispose of a bag containing methamphetamine and marijuana, prosecutors said.

Todd Marvin Marinovich, 47, of Irvine, was charged with attempted aggravated trespass of a residence, trespassing, public nudity and possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office. All of the charges are misdemeanors. He also faces an infraction of possessing marijuana.

If Marinovich is convicted, he faces up to three years in Orange County jail.

Marinovich was arrested about 11 p.m. on Aug. 19 when he was found in the backyard of a home on Bluecoat, according to the Irvine Police Department.  Prosecutors said he tried to open a backyard sliding door to get inside the home.

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“It is a tragic story. We found him hiding in a backyard. Someone else’s backyard,”  Irvine police Cmdr. Mike Hallinan said after the arrest.

A resident also reported seeing a naked man earlier on the Venta Spur Trail near the home. Authorities found a brown bag containing methamphetamine, syringes, marijuana, a marijuana pipe and Marinovich’s wallet and driver’s license, prosecutors said.

Once known as the “Robo quarterback,” Marinovich has seen his athleticism and skills overshadowed by his run-ins with law enforcement.

Marinovich, an Orange County native, led USC to a Rose Bowl victory in 1990. He went on to join the then-Los Angeles Raiders, with whom he played for two seasons. After he was let go from the Raiders, he joined a Canadian football team. He later returned to Los Angeles and joined an Arena Football League team, but that came to an end after he was arrested on a heroin-possession charge.

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In the late 1990s, he pleaded guilty to cultivating marijuana and illegally possessing prescription medications. In 2000, he was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession. He was also arrested on drug-possession charges in 2005 and 2007. 

Marinovich has been open about his struggle with drugs, which, along with football-related concussions, have taken a toll on his memory.

In a 2014 article, the football star told the Los Angeles Times that he was “evolving” and working as an artist. 

At the time, the city of Garden Grove had commissioned from him a $20,000 mural project outside the historic Gem Theater.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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