By Julie Glass
Former Flyers forward Jori Lehtera was convicted in a Finnish court of buying cocaine and given a four-month suspended prison sentence. Lehtera will not have to serve the sentence as long as he is not arrested on any serious charges through October 2021, according to Finnish news reports.
Lehtera, who is currently playing with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, has denied the charges and did not respond to a request for comment made through a Flyers spokesman. His attorney, Petteri Sotamaa, in an email said Lehtera will appeal.
“Mr. Lehtera has been convicted without any evidence,” Sotamaa said. “The outcome of the case seems to have depended more on the pretrial publicity than anything that took place in the courtroom. Mr. Lehtera’s conviction is utterly baseless and against the constitutional rule of law.”
In December, prosecutors in Lehtera’s native Finland charged the hockey player with buying 6 grams of cocaine in June and July in the town of Tampere. He was one of 22 defendants in the case. The ring was accused of moving more than 1.8 kilos of cocaine in the region, according to court records. Some of the drugs were allegedly stashed in the locker room of a public sauna, the newspaper Aamulehti reported.