A Kansas City-area man charged in a large-scale drug ring allegedly supplied marijuana to some members of the 2010-11 Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team, according to a federal prosecutor.
The report from the Kansas City Star, published Friday, says that Samuel Villeareal III, 32, is one of 25 defendants charged in U.S. District Court with conspiring to sell marijuana, as much as 1,000 kilograms over a four-year period.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead, a seized cell phone is the link between Villeareal and the Kansas basketball team.
““We know that because of the text messages we obtained from the iPhone and also from surveillance that was done throughout this investigation of Mr. Villeareal,” Morehead said, according to a transcript that was reported by the Star.
Morehead said the phone became “a key component to this entire investigation.”
The investigation also hinges on observations of Villeareal’s actions made by agents investigating the case.
“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 is quoted as saying. “So we know that he had probably not only a personal relationship with them but a professional relationship as well.”
The 2010-11 Jayhawks won the Big 12, finishing 35-3 and advancing to the Elite Eight, before losing to Virginia Commonwealth.
Featured on that team were Marcus and Markieff Morris, Josh Selby, Brady Morningstar, and Tyshawn Taylor.
To read the full report from the Star, click here.