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Drug charges against Sorkin upgraded to felonies

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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The Los Angeles district attorney will seek felony charges in the drug possession case against Hollywood screen writer Aaron Sorkin, creator of the TV series "The West Wing," officials said Monday.

Sorkin will be arraigned Wednesday on a felony count for possession of "illicit mushrooms," a felony count for possession of cocaine base and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

Since Sorkin is being arraigned on felony counts, he is required to be present in the courtroom Wednesday.

Sorkin was arrested April 15 at a security checkpoint in the Burbank Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Las Vegas. Authorities said a suspicious bag inside Sorkin's carry-on luggage contained hallucinogenic mushrooms, a controlled substance in California.

Sorkin originally was arrested for only the mushrooms, but tests on other substances from the bag determined he also was carrying rock cocaine and marijuana, the Los Angeles district attorney's office said.

Authorities then decided to charge Sorkin with a felony.

Sorkin has admitted he sought treatment for cocaine addiction in 1995. His writing credits include the screenplay for "The American President" and both the Broadway and film versions of the military courtroom drama "A Few Good Men."

"The West Wing," which runs on NBC and stars Martin Sheen as the president, won a record nine Emmys in 2000, including one for Sorkin for best writing.



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