ARIZONA - Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of drug possession and driving under the influence, stemming from a traffic stop last year as he was leaving a nightclub.
Tyson quietly acknowledged to a judge that he had cocaine and was impaired when he was stopped for driving erratically in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale on December 29.
He pleaded guilty to a single felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count and faces up to four years and three months in prison when he is sentenced on November 19. A felony charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and a second misdemeanor DUI charge were dropped as part of a plea agreement.
Defence lawyer David Chesnoff said Tyson has been clean and sober for eight months.
"It's obvious this was a crime he was committing against himself," Chesnoff said.
Police stopped Tyson after the boxer had spent the evening at Scottsdale's Pussycat Lounge. An officer said he saw Tyson wiping a white substance off the dashboard of his black BMW, and that his speech was slurred. Authorities said they found bags of cocaine in Tyson's pocket and in his car.
Tyson told officers later that he used cocaine "whenever I can get my hands on it," and that he preferred to smoke it in Marlboro cigarettes with the tobacco pulled out, according to court documents.
He also told police that he used marijuana that day and was taking the antidepressant drug Zoloft, the documents state.
Since his arrest, Tyson checked himself into an inpatient treatment programme for what his lawyer called "various addictions." - Sapa-AP