Drugs, guns, and skiing? X Games athlete arrested following SWAT standoff in Utah

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 16, 2010 1:27 pm

Winter X Games 14 athlete Eugene “EJ” Poplawski was arrested on Friday in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a routine traffic stop escalated into a SWAT Team standoff when police found drugs and several guns in his home.

According to local reports by KSL, Poplawski was pulled over on Friday, but fled from the officers at the scene. Rather than engaging in a high-speed chase, police traced the license plate to his house, where they found a gun in the driveway.

After knocking, Poplawski’s roommate opened the door, exposing various drugs and paraphernalia.

Poplawski subsequently locked himself upstairs and refused to come out of the house. Following a warrant, a SWAT team was called to remove Poplawski from the house. During the standoff, two canisters of tear gas were used to extricate Poplawski.

Further search of the home brought police to find at least two pounds of marijuana and several guns.

Poplawski faces charges on two felonies: possession of drugs with the intent to distribute and fleeing and evading police, said KSL.

Poplawski lost his leg in March 2006 during the U.S. Telemark Extreme Championships at Crested Butte, CO when he wrapped his leg around a tree. After launching the final cliff of his run, his ski broke, causing him to lose control and collide with the tree. Poplawski ruptured the popliteal artery, forcing doctors to amputate his right leg just above the knee.

Two years ago Poplawski returned to the snow and was quickly progressing thanks to prototype equipment. After competing as an adaptive skier, Poplawski participated in the inaugural adaptive sno-cross at Winter X Games 14, where he earned a 5th place finish in the snowmobile-based event. In addition to competing, Poplawski has also worked as a motivational speaker where he has traveled the country to bring his inspirational message to the public.

Check out this video of Poplawski describing his road to recovery: