Clovis News

Ex-Tulare football star pleads no contest to drug charges

Emmanuel Lewis, a record-setting quarterback at Tulare High and a two-year standout at Fresno City College, pleaded no contest today to two felony charges of selling or offering to sell cocaine and Ecstasy.

In exchange for his plea, he will be sentenced to a drug treatment program instead of being sent to prison for a maximum term of five years and eight months.

Lewis and his attorney, David Washington, declined to comment after entering the plea in Fresno County Superior Court.

Judge Jonathan Conklin crafted the plea agreement. Because Conklin was not available, Judge James Oppliger accepted Lewis’ no contest pleas.

As part of the plea agreement, Lewis must enroll immediately in a local Salvation Army drug treatment program for at least six months, said prosecutor Noelle Pebet, a deputy district attorney.

He also has to stay out of trouble, Oppliger said.

“These programs are not easy,” the judge told Lewis. “You’ll have to buck up.”

Clovis police arrested Lewis in December after a four-month investigation. Police said undercover officers purchased nearly an ounce of cocaine and 25 Ecstasy pills from Lewis.

Lewis played at Tulare High from 2003-05 and holds the Central Section career passing record with 8,667 yards. This past season, as a sophomore at Fresno City, he threw for 2,227 yards and 21 touchdowns for the 7-4 Rams.

Pebet said she agreed with Conklin’s plea agreement because Lewis has no criminal history and accepted responsibility for his actions.

Lewis has told the judge he plans to continue his college education in the state of Alabama, Pebet said. If he shows proof that he has been accepted at a college in Alabama, he can complete his drug treatment program there, according to the plea agreement.

His next court hearing is June 1.