Ex-MSU basketball player facing felony drug charge in Warren traffic stop

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Former Michigan State University basketball star Keith Appling is facing new legal troubles after police allegedly turned up heroin in his vehicle during a Macomb County traffic stop.

Warren police Commissioner Bill Dwyer confirmed Friday that Appling was pulled over on Dequindre this month by Warren officers who uncovered the alleged drugs. He was arrested and the department submitted a warrant to the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office, which was approved, Dwyer said.

Keith Appling sits in an emerency bond hearing at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit, in this file photo from 2016.

Appling, he said, has been charged with a felony of distributing or selling the drug.  

He was free on bond, according to WXYZ (Channel 7), and his next court appearance is set for Feb. 25.The charges come after the former guard for the Spartans pleaded guilty in 2017 to carrying a concealed weapon and resisting and obstructing a Detroit police officer during an unrelated traffic stop on Detroit's east side. 

In that case, he was ordered to serve a year in jail and five years' probation. As part of a sentencing agreement, two other criminal cases were dismissed. 

Appling apologized at the time, telling Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon "I let a lot of people down" and "I've been a law-abiding citizen all my life."

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith could not be reached for comment late Friday. 

Appling played at Michigan State from 2010 to 2014, starting 132 games for the Spartans. He played briefly for the NBA's Orlando Magic, spending most of the season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA D-League.