Ex-NFL QB Leaf arrested for 2nd time in Montana

April 2, 2012 - 3:48 PM
Ryan Leaf Arrest Football

In this booking photo released by the Cascade County (Mont.) Sherrif's Office. Police Dept., former NFL player Ryan Leaf is shown. Leaf was arrested Friday, March 30, 2012, in his hometown of Great Falls, Mont., on burglary and drug possession charges, police said. (AP Photo/Cascade County Sherrif's Office)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested again on Monday and is accused of committing another burglary two days after he posted bail on charges that he broke into a friend's home and stole prescription painkillers, a drug task force commander said.

Leaf has been jailed in the Cascade County Detention Center and is facing new charges of burglary, theft and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs. He also is being detained on a probation violation.

"It's based on a burglary that happened yesterday afternoon after he bailed out," Central Montana Drug Task Force Commander Chris Hickman said Monday.

A call to Leaf's publicist was not immediately returned Monday.

The new charges are in addition to burglary, theft and drug possessions charges he faces from his arrest on Friday. Hickman declined to detail the allegations against Leaf regarding the latest burglary.

Leaf has an initial court appearance scheduled for Monday afternoon in which he will hear the charges against him.

Bond has been set at $101,000 for the burglary, theft and drug charges, but the probation violation charge does not carry a bond so Leaf cannot be released from jail, Hickman said.

The probation violation is related to a plea agreement Leaf made in Texas after being accused in 2009 of burglarizing a player's home while he was a quarterbacks coach for Division II West Texas A&M. An investigation turned up that Leaf had obtained nearly 1,000 pain pills from area pharmacies in an eight-month span.

His plea agreement gave him 10 years of probation. Randall County District Attorney James Farren said he planned to file a motion Monday to revoke Leaf's probation.

Leaf was arrested Friday after a monthlong investigation that started with a tip that Leaf had been receiving small, rattling c.o.d. packages worth $500 or more once or twice a week.

A search of Leaf and his pickup truck turned up 28 oxycodone pills, a narcotic for which Leaf does not have a prescription, Hickman said. The label on an empty prescription bottle also found in Leaf's golf bag was made out to an acquaintance, who told police that Leaf entered his house without permission on Thursday and stole the pills.

Hickman said authorities believe Leaf may have broken into other homes over the past 1 ½ years in search of prescription drugs and is asking those victims to come forward.

Leaf has not returned calls or text messages seeking comment and a message left at his parents' phone number was not returned. He released a statement through his publicist after his first arrest on Friday that says he has "made some mistakes and have no excuses" but that he is "confident that there will be further understanding when the facts are revealed."

Leaf, a former standout quarterback for Washington State, was the No. 2 pick in the 1998 draft behind Peyton Manning. But Leaf flamed out as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, gaining a reputation as one of the biggest busts in NFL history

Last year, Leaf had surgery to remove a benign tumor from his brain stem and later underwent additional radiation treatments.

On March 21, Leaf told an Associated Press reporter in an email exchange that he had struggled through treatments and had an MRI scheduled for the end of the month, but "I'm doing/feeling much better and am excited for the rest of 2012."