Overland Park man allegedly sold drugs to KU basketball players
An earlier blog post discussed the recent arrest of 25 Kansas residents allegedly involved in a large marijuana production ring in Johnson and Douglas counties. All the individuals received federal conspiracy charges for drug distribution. Since the initial arrests, a federal drug investigation has revealed that one of the people arrested on drug charges, a man from Overland Park, allegedly sold marijuana to several University of Kansas basketball players.
A federal judge authorized the use of wiretaps and mobile phone surveillance in the investigation. Apparently, the Overland Park man’s cell phone was used to send text messages concerning the distribution of the drugs to the basketball players. Additionally, investigators witnessed the man sitting with players behind the KU bench during a game, leading them to surmise that the defendant had a personal and probably professional relationship with the athletes.
KU officials have declined to comment on the case. Several of the basketball players also turned down requests to discuss the allegations, while others denied having any contact with or knowledge of the man.
It is unclear if the man will face further charges. Federal prosecutors have already charged him with conspiracy to distribute drugs along with the other 24 suspects, and he is currently awaiting trial.
While state or local authorities usually deal with drug possession charges, complex drug manufacturing and distribution allegations are prosecuted by federal authorities. The U.S. government commits significant resources to combating the trafficking of controlled substances, and a federal drug charge is serious. If convicted, a defendant charged with a federal drug violation is likely to be sentenced to time in prison and may be required to pay a significant fine.