Curtis Malone, the co-founder and president of D.C. Assault, an AAU team based in Washington D.C., was arrested on Friday as part of a year-long DEA investigation, according to the Washington City Paper. Federal agents found a kilo of cocaine, 100 grams of heroin and a handgun in Malone's home, according to court documents.
Those documents allege that Malone and another man, Micah Jerry Bidgell, have been working together since August of 2012 to sell heroin and other drugs to an undercover DEA agent. Malone was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1991, but before this latest incident, he had kept himself free of drug charges. He was charged with second-degree assault in 2012, but was later acquitted.
Malone founded D.C. Assault in 1993, along with Troy Weaver, now an assistant GM for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Over the last 20 years, it has grown into one of the most prominent AAU programs in the country, with more than 60 players receiving Division I scholarships.
A number of Malone's players have eventually made it to the NBA, including Jeff Green, Michael Beasley, Keith Bogans, Nolan Smith, Dante Cunningham, Kris Joseph and DerMarr Johnson. As a result, Malone's ties in the basketball world run very deep.
This is a pretty telling excerpt from a Washington Post article about the influence of AAU basketball in 2009:
"I can bet you there are 50 other coaches who wouldn't say that about Curtis Malone. I'm going down to Duke; Coach K loves Curtis Malone. I went up to Villanova; me and [Coach] Jay Wright have a great relationship."
For years, college coaches have complained about the prominence of AAU coaches in recruiting circles. However, over the last generation, it's become almost impossible to sign big-time recruits without developing relationships with power brokers like Malone.