Ex-UCLA running back Craig Lee -- who was a key piece of one of the school's best recruiting classes ever -- was arrested for attempted murder over the weekend, TMZ Sports has learned.
According to court docs, 23-year-old Lee -- a top H.S. recruit who played for UCLA from 2013-2015 -- was involved in an altercation at a weed dispensary back in 2016 that turned violent.
Officials say Lee and at least 2 other men entered Kings Palace Marijuana Dispensary in Jurupa Valley, California on June 30, 2016 ... when someone from the group shot a store employee.
Officials say a security guard in the store returned fire ... and that's when they say Lee and the other suspects bolted out of the place before law enforcement arrived.
After a 3-year-long investigation into the incident ... prosecutors now say the whole thing appeared to be a robbery gone wrong, because in the arrest warrant, obtained by TMZ Sports, a key witness claims Lee's role "was to grab drugs and money and run."
Prosecutors put out the warrant for Lee's arrest last month ... and on Friday, they arrested him in Los Angeles on charges of attempted murder and attempted robbery -- both felonies.
Lee has been in custody on $1 MILLION bond since. He's set to be arraigned in court on Thursday.
For his part, Lee's family is denying the former running back's involvement in the crime ... saying, "Anyone that knows Craig should know pulling a gun on someone with intentions to murder them is not in his character."
Lee's family has set up a GoFundMe page to try to help Lee retain a defense attorney for the case ... and so far, several of Lee's former UCLA teammates -- including Green Bay Packers star Kenny Clark -- have made donations.
Lee was part of a 2013 UCLA recruiting class that ranked No. 8 in the country and included future NFL studs like Clark, Jaguars' Myles Jack, Buccaneers' Caleb Benenoch and Titans' Jayon Brown.
Lee battled academic issues throughout his career at UCLA -- never logging an official carry before he eventually left the team in 2015.