LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 27: (L-R) Head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend Markieff Morris #21 Travis Releford #24 and Elijah Johnson #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrate late in the team's championship game against the Arizona Wildcats at the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 27 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. Kansas won 87-79. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Players on the 2010-11 Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team allegedly bought marijuana from a man being charged in a large-scale distribution ring, says a federal prosecutor.
Samuel Villeareal III is being charged by the U.S. District Court along with 25 other defendants for conspiring to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of "high-grade" marijuana over a four-year period. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead said that investigators found text messages on Villeareal's iPhone linking him to the players. Villeareal appeared at a number of Jayhawk basketball games, as well.
"At one occasion law enforcement had Mr. Villeareal this basketball season at the Sprint Center sitting behind the KU basketball bench with a number of the players," Morehead said. "So we know that he had probably not only a personal relationship with them but a professional relationship as well."
KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger declined comment, as did men's basketball coach Bill Self who acknowledged that he was hearing about the allegations for the first time. The Kansas City Star also tried to contact the 16 members of the 2010-11 squad. Of the four they reached, Jeff Withey and Royce Woolridge said they did not know Villeareal. Elijah Johnson and Jordan Juenemann declined to comment.
More information about Villeareal's connection with the team was not contained in the 44-page complaint and supporting affidavit.
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