Former SIUE athlete charged with dealing drugs

A former Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball player is accused of dealing drugs out of his Edwardsville apartment after a drug surveillance operation allegedly caught him with drugs in his car.

The Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois got an anonymous tip that 22-year-old Austin Verschoore was receiving large quantities of Xanax, cocaine, cannabis and other controlled substances in the mail. A MEGSI agent began observing Verschoore in cooperation with the Alton Police Department, which stopped his car on Nov. 3.

The officer said he believed he smelled cannabis inside, and used a K-9 dog to search the vehicle. He allegedly found 6 grams of powder cocaine and 4 grams of cannabis, according to a search warrant request filed in Madison County Circuit Court.

Verschoore has been charged with one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver and one count of delivery of a controlled substance, as well as the traffic charge of changing lanes without signaling.

The search warrant states that Verschoore admitted in an interview that the drugs were his, and initially agreed to let police search his Edwardsville apartment. After calling his parents, however, Verschoore refused permission to search. Police eventually obtained a search warrant and found approximately 1,600 Xanax pills in packages of 100 pills, four clear baggies of suspected cocaine, and packaging materials for cannabis and cocaine with digital scales.

Verschoore could not be immediately reached for comment.

According to the search warrants, Verschoore allegedly told police he buys from an individual in University City, and was selling cocaine and Xanax out of his Southwest Place apartment in Edwardsville.

Police also found a 32 GB flash drive and obtained a search warrant to read the files on it. The contents of those files were not immediately known, but police expected it might contain records of drug sales and purchases.

Verschoore played baseball for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for three years, but is not listed on the 2017 roster, according to the SIUE sports information office. The SIUE directory lists him as a junior in the school of education, health and human behavior. He was an All-State selection in high school in Missouri.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald