Former NHL player Karalahti arrested in Finland

HELSINKI Fri Nov 9, 2007 9:42am EST

Finland's Jere Karalahti (C) celebrates his goal with team mates Kimmo Timonen (L) and Jukka Hentunen during their opening Group C match with Denmark at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria April 30, 2005. Karalahti has been arrested in his native Finland on suspicion of a drugs crime, police said on Friday. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

Finland's Jere Karalahti (C) celebrates his goal with team mates Kimmo Timonen (L) and Jukka Hentunen during their opening Group C match with Denmark at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria April 30, 2005. Karalahti has been arrested in his native Finland on suspicion of a drugs crime, police said on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Former NHL defenseman Jere Karalahti has been arrested in his native Finland on suspicion of a drugs crime, police said on Friday.

Karalahti, 32, played for Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators between 1999 and 2002 before returning to Finland. He is among the best Finnish players and has been playing for league champions Oulun Karpat this season.

Police said the arrest was related to a big amphetamine smuggling case and that the player was being held in custody while an investigation was underway.

"The court of Espoo has today imprisoned Karalahti ... suspected of a gross drugs crime," detective chief inspector Ari Karvonen from Espoo police said.

Police expected to finish the investigation in December and the court hearing is likely to start in February.

Karvonen said the sentence for a gross drugs crime was between one and 10 years in prison.

(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen)

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