Marcelo Pletsch, the former Bundesliga defender who made almost 150 appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach in the late nineties and early noughties, is reportedly facing anything between five and 15 years in prison after being caught with a hefty amount of marijuana late last year.
Pletsch was arrested in his native Brazil in November 2015, after military police stopped him in the southern municipality of Toledo and apparently found 793kg of marijuana in his truck. German tabloid Express reports that Pletsch has recently been moved to Cascavel state prison, and that he is still awaiting trial on charges of drug trafficking.
Pletsch retired from football in 2010, having also played for FC Kaiserslautern, Serbian side Vojvodina, Greek club Panionios G.S.S. and Cypriot minnows AC Omonia. He moved back to Brazil and became a pig farmer near to the south-western border with Paraguay, before his arrest brought him back into the public eye.
He was reportedly apprehended along with two other men, who between them were transporting 854 pressed bricks of marijuana. His former Monchengladbach teammates have expressed their surprise, with Marcel Witeczek (at the club between 1997 and 2003) telling Bild: "This is shocking news and a very sad story. This is not something that one could imagine happening to a former Bundesliga player. I hope things turn out to be different to what was first thought."
Michael Klinkert, a Monchengladbach stalwart who played with Pletsch between 1999 and 2001, added: "I can't understand it. Maybe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."