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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Former Saints Player Enters New Guilty Plea to Drug Distribution Charges

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that DARREN SHARPER, age 40, formerly of New Orleans, entered a new guilty plea today before U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo,  to Conspiracy to Distribute Alprazolam, Diazepam and Zolpidem with intent to commit rape and two counts of distributing these substances with intent to commit rape.  The maximum punishments for these offenses are as follows:

COUNT

CHARGE

MAXIMUM

PENALTIES

4

21 U.S.C. 846; Conspiracy to Distribute a Schedule IV Controlled Substance with the intent to commit a crime of violence

20 Years, $250,000 Fine, NLT 1 Year Supervised Release.

5

21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1),(b)(1)(D) & (E)(7)(B); Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Schedule IV with the intent to commit a crime of violence

20 Years, $250,000 Fine, NLT 1 Year Supervised Release.

6

21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1),(b)(1)(D) & (E)(7)(B); Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Schedule IV with the intent to commit a crime of violence

20 Years, $250,000 Fine, NLT 1 Year Supervised Release.

SHARPER is a former member of the New Orleans Saints and is presently in custody.  He has previously pled guilty to similar charges in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.  He has also entered into a conditional plea in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. His plea today was part of a global resolution of the charges against him.  According to court records, SHARPER admitted that he and others distributed controlled substances to unsuspecting women and then had sexual relations with them while they were incapacitated.  He also admitted that he conspired with other persons in committing these offenses. 

Under the terms of this new plea agreement, the United States and SHARPER jointly agreed to recommend to the court a sentence within SHARPER’s Sentencing Guidelines range, which is 188-235 months as calculated by the United States Probation Office.  Sentencing in this matter is set for June 16, 2016, at 9:00 AM.

Co-defendants Brandon Licciardi, a former St Bernard Sheriff’s Deputy, and Erik Nunez are awaiting trial on similar charges as well as charges of Witness Tampering and Impeding an Official Proceeding.

U.S. Attorney Polite thanked the victims for their courage and willingness to come forward.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter and thanked Leon Cannizzaro and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for their invaluable assistance.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office also assisted in this case.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michael E. McMahon, Theodore Carter, and Brandon Long are in charge of the prosecution. 

 

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated March 22, 2016