Right now while individual states are deciding whether to legalize/decriminalize marijuana, Canada just elected a guy, Justin Trudeau, who has essentially made it his first order of business to pull troops out of the Middle East and legalize pot. Half the country is terrified because he’s a former teacher and doesn’t seem to have much in the way of real numbers in terms of his economic game, and the other half of the country is excited in a similar way to many in the United States when Obama was first elected. The frightened people probably won’t have to deal with the country falling apart and the excited people will be disappointed. So in short, it was another election and drugs were a minor issue. We exchanged one group of thugs who waste money for another group of thugs who waste money with different colored ties.
Moving back to the drug issue, it probably doesn’t need to be an election issue, but it is. There is war abroad, crime at home, unemployment, and so on, but political creatures still bicker over what people can and can’t put into their bodies.
Looking to the world of sports, the drug issue takes on a different form. Some substances can lead to advantages (but most don’t) blah, blah, blah and whether you’re watching baseball or mixed martial arts, you’re familiar with the controversies over drugs. While some athletes are penalized by leagues for having drugs in their system (whether the performance enhancing type or otherwise), others are pulled over in their cars and booked for possession. Building on this, while trafficking drugs is a lucrative way to make a living if one isn’t inclined to legal occupations, it makes little sense for millionaire athletes to do it. Still however, some do. Here are twelve below average athletes who have dealt, trafficked or smuggled drugs.
We did a similar article in the past and this will feature all new athletes.
12. Alex Cole
Alex Cole was a speedy outfielder who played for five different MLB teams in a seven year career that anyone who knows baseball would call “decent,” He had little in the way of hitting power, but covered tons of ground to field fly balls and he could steal bases like few others in the league in the early 1990s. In his retirement, he got into some nasty business.
He was living in St. Petersburg at the time and police officers raided his residence and found enough heroin to charge him with possession with intent to distribute. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a year and a half sentence.
11. Charles Zwolsman Sr.
Born in the Netherlands back in the mid 1950s, Charles Zwolsman was a racing team owner and driver who was into drugs for decades and ended up paying the price. He drove in a few different racing organizations in the early 1990s and achieved little in the way of actual success.
Zwolsman had a drug dealing network since the 1980s and never gave up this pastime. In 2010, he was convicted of drug trafficking after he was found with an absurd amount of hash and some guns. He died in his prison cell back in 2011. His son, Charles Jr. is a driver now and though he was implicated in his dad’s operations, he was never convicted.
10. Greg “Cadillac” Anderson
Playing power forward and center, Cadillac Anderson played for seven NBA teams and a couple of overseas clubs over the course of a fourteen year career. He was alright overall, but wasn’t anything particularly special on the court.
In 1998 he was caught in an FBI sting, which totally isn’t entrapment, because the FBI is an ethical “law enforcement” agency and always has been. He was caught trying to buy cocaine and was charged not only with possession but also conspiracy to distribute. He was given five months in prison.
9. Mark Ward
Midfielder Mark Ward played about 20 years for numerous different teams in a few different levels of English football. After the end of his career, he was nearly broke and agreed to rent a property that was used to stash cocaine. When this property was raided, he claimed he had no idea what the substance was, but that wasn’t good enough to keep him out of prison. Details have always been sketchy in terms of his actual involvement and theories range from him being an active participant in the dealing operation, to his story being true, and Ward having had no idea about what sat in his home.
He was freed from prison in 2009 after serving four years of an eight year conviction.
8. Ricardo Jordan
Floridian pitcher Ricardo Jordan played four years of professional baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, and Cincinnati Reds between 1995 and 1998. He had a mean curveball but ultimately wasn’t very good, with an ERA of over five and 47 strikeouts in over 65 games played.
After his career he got into the drug trade. He lasted for almost a decade in the business, but was caught selling cocaine and marijuana after a drug deal that involved federal agents in 2007. He received a seven year sentence.
7. Steve Durbano
One of the dirtiest, toughest men ever to play the game of hockey was Steve Durbano. He played for five different NHL teams in the 1970s and received over 1,000 penalty minutes. Off the ice, one couldn’t notice much of a difference in his persona. He was a frequent participant in bar brawls and was caught and convicted of trying to import hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine into Canada. This was in 1983 and he was given a seven year sentence. In 1995, he was convicted again, this time of trying to recruit an undercover police-woman into a prostitution ring. Durbano died of liver cancer in 2002.
6. Willie Mays Aikens
A decent hitter and very solid fielder, Aikens played pro baseball for the California Angels, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays for eight years between 1977 and 1985. Throughout his career, he was heavy into cocaine use, which he would later admit. After his career ended, he went over to the business side of drug use. In 1994, he sold crack multiple times to an undercover police woman and was eventually sentenced to twenty years in prison. He was released in 2008, and has spent the time since speaking to schools and members of the Kansas City Royals’ organization about his experiences with drugs.
5. Austin Scott
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Austin Scott was considered to be one of the greatest high school running backs of all time. He was recruited by Penn State and played four seasons with them. During his senior year he was accused of sexual assault and was suspended from the team. The charges were later dropped and he was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an drafted free agent in 2008.
He was pretty much useless and struggled with fumbles while with the Browns during preseason and eventually played in Germany and in a semi-pro league in Pennsylvania. In 2011, he was arrested for drug related charges and in 2013 he was arrested and pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and distribution. He received a 23 month sentence after selling pot to police officers four times.
4. Henry James
Another unmemorable sports figure, Henry James played for six different NBA teams over a career that spanned nine years. He played small forward and ultimately never did much in the league. In 2006, he was arrested after selling a few hundred dollars worth of crack cocaine to undercover police officers. A year later, he was sentenced to a five year sentence after pleading guilty to the charges.
3. Jerry Mahony
Jerry Mahoney was a driver in the British Touring Car Championship in the late 1980s. He and Vic Lee, the owner of Vic Lee Racing, were both found to have been smuggling and distributing millions of dollars worth of cocaine in the early 1990’s. Lee, Mahony and two other members of their racing organization were convicted in 1993 and sentenced to roughly a decade in prison each.
2. Gary Balough
Balough was a NASCAR driver who competed from 1979 until 1990. While he achieved too many wins to count in smaller regional racing circuits, he never placed higher than 40th in NASCAR. He was arrested as one of the leaders of a smuggling and distribution ring in the late 1980s that operated from Florida to North Carolina. He was in and out of prison for similar charges in the years since and was released again in 2010. At that point he returned to those smaller tracks in Florida that he started out on. It is uncertain whether he still races to this day. His fans have long held that he was innocent of all charges, but they carry with them an obvious bias.
1. Steve Seligman
Based out of Illinois, Seligman was a stock car driver in the 80s and 90s. He never actually competed in a NASCAR Winston Cup event, despite having attempted to qualify over a dozen times. In 1997, a police raid found him to have been using drugs and drug money to obtain parts and tools to run his auto shop. They found money and several ounces of cocaine in his shop, and had also purchased cocaine from him multiple times. It was not his first arrest either, as he had charges dropped in 1995 after having been arrested for selling blow. One would think that after the first near miss, one would learn a lesson and find another method of fundraising.
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