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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 May, 2003, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Cult actor admits drug charge
Tommy Chong leaving court
Chong was the co-star of several drug-themed Cheech & Chong films
Cult film star Tommy Chong, one half of the 1970s comedy duo Cheech and Chong, pleaded guilty in a US court on Tuesday of conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia.

Chong was facing charges in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania court over selling marijuana pipes, known as bongs, through his company Nice Dreams Enterprises, and through website advertisements giving his "celebrity" endorsement.

He admitted his range of glass bongs and pipes, known as Chong glass, were used to smoke marijuana.

Chong's lawyers said the star admitted responsibility for selling the accessories, but was careful not to sell them to minors.

The actor, who appeared in a string of films about marijuana with Cheech Marin, said he did not personally use drugs.

"I don't smoke; I quit," he said.

New film

Chong, 64, could face up to three years in jail and a fine of over $250,000 (161,000) if found guilty. He comes up for sentencing on 11 September.

He was released on a $20,000 (12,900) bond. Prosecutors said they would not be pushing for a jail term, even though guidelines recommended a six months-to-one year sentence.

Chong, who has recently featured in the TV series That 70s Show, said he planned to shoot a new film with comedy partner Marin.

He said he also planned to return to his comedy routines.

Chong faced charges after Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers bought some oh his pipes and tested them.

Agents also confiscated the paraphernalia after raids on shops selling the pipes, and thousands more from his business's Gardena, California premises. They also took $120,000 of proceeds from the sale of the accessories.

The raids were part of a DEA operation leading to 55 arrests for illegal drug paraphernalia.

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