Posted: Wednesday, April 24th 2002 at 5:48pm
Former Dallas Cowboy Nate Newton pleads guilty to drug charge
DALLAS - Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal drug trafficking charge after accepting a plea agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Newton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The other charges, aiding and abetting to possess and distribute marijuana, will be dropped.
Newton, 40, who lives in East Ellijay, Ga., is a six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman who helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls. He spent 14 seasons in the NFL, 13 with Dallas. He retired last year after a season with the Carolina Panthers.
Newton had previously pleaded innocent to the two-count indictment.
Sentencing was scheduled for July 19 before U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn.
Steven Rozen, Newton's attorney, said he expects Newton will serve up to 30 months with credit for time served.
``He really did feel he wanted to do the right thing'' by pleading guilty, Rozen said. ``He has great remorse for what has happened.''
Newton was returned to the detention center in Seagoville, a southeast Dallas suburb, where he has been since his Dec. 12 arrest.
Like Newton, the other charges, aiding and abetting to possess and distribute marijuana, will be dropped.
Authorities arrested Newton in Ellis County after they found $10,000 in Newton's red pickup as well as 175 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of an accompanying Monte Carlo driven by Charles Deaundra Howard, 25, of Garland. The marijuana was worth an estimated $700,000.
Howard and another suspect, Billy Crenshaw, have pleaded guilty.
At time of his arrest, Newton, was free on bail from a Louisiana drug bust. He was arrested Nov. 4, accused of driving a van with 213 pounds of marijuana in it.
Rozen said the Louisiana case is still active, and attorneys there are hoping Newton can plead guilty to those charges and serve his time concurrently with the Texas sentence, Rozen said
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