Leaf pleads guilty to stealing painkillers

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Leaf asked for a reduction in bail _ $76,000 in Montana and $50,000 in Texas _ so that he can spend time with his family and get his affairs in order before sentencing. He told the judge that he was not a flight risk.

Parker said Leaf is “a man in the grip of a very powerful addiction” and it would be a mistake to reduce his bail before he begins treatment in a secure facility.

Neill denied the request to reduce bail.

Leaf was the No. 2 pick in the 1998 draft, but his short-lived career earned him the reputation as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

Prosecutors say the investigation into Leaf began in March, when Great Falls postal workers tipped the Central Montana Drug Task Force that Leaf was receiving frequent packages and paying more than $500 cash on delivery for each.

Task force officers and Leaf’s parole officer confronted Leaf on March 30 and found two pill containers in a golf bag. One contained 28 oxycodone pills, while the other was empty with a prescription label in the name of an acquaintance of Leaf‘s.

Police interviewed the acquaintance and the acquaintance’s housekeeper, who said that Leaf had entered the man’s home the day before without permission.

Leaf was arrested and then freed on $76,000 bail.

Two days later, on April 1, two Cascade County residents told authorities they had returned home to discover a man inside their home, according to the charging documents. The man said he had the wrong home and left, and the couple only later noticed a drill and three different prescription medications missing.

The couple identified Leaf in a photo lineup and police went to Leaf’s home to arrest him. They found another 89 hydrocodone pills when searching his home, the charging documents say.

Great Falls Police Sgt. Chris Hickman said Tuesday that the task force and federal drug authorities are still investigating the Florida source of the packages that Leaf received through the mail. The task force also is reviewing data downloaded from the GPS device in Leaf’s truck to determine if Leaf drove to other sites where there were burglaries.

Leaf could face more charges in the future if any incriminating evidence is discovered, Hickman said.

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AP reporter Betsy Blaney contributed to this report from Lubbock, Texas.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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