Leaf’s arrest results from monthlong investigation

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf, who has been struggling to overcome issues with drug addiction, first landed on the radar of authorities in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana a month ago.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Central Montana Drug Task Force received a tip from the U.S. Postal Service (we’re monitoring the Twitter accounts of various NFL Network analysts for disclosure of the “snitch”) that Leaf was receiving “suspicious cash-on-delivery packages from Florida” with values in the range of $500 to $700.

Leaf was summoned to the Great Falls Probation and Parole office Friday.  “We questioned him about the packages and searched his residence and vehicle,” Great Falls Police Sgt. Chris Hickman said.

In a golf bag inside Leaf’s truck, authorities found 20 Oxycodone pills in an unlabeled bottle.  Another bottle containing pain medication was found with a label identifying an associate of Leaf’s.  Leaf allegedly entered the man’s house on Wednesday and swiped the bottle.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor in West Texas who negotiated Leaf’s 10-year probation after he pleaded guilty to eight drug charges in 2010 said a motion will be filed to revoke Leaf’s probation.  That could end up being the more problematic entanglement for Leaf.

Either way, it appears that Leaf’s second strike could result in a prison stay.

Leaf was the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, and he’s regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.  Amazingly, the Colts actually wrestled with the question of whether to take Leaf or Peyton Manning with the first selection that year.

58 responses to “Leaf’s arrest results from monthlong investigation

  1. This is sad. It seemed like his life had turned around when he went on his book tour. Addiction makes people do terrible things, especially if you aren’t mentally or physically equipped to deal with it. Hopefully he overcomes this, but the odds aren’t in his favor.

  2. Wow. Major melt-down.
    If he hasn’t reached bottom, I know he can see it from where he is…

  3. I think one thing most people fail to realize is that many of the prescription drugs (like Oxycodone) that are legally available at whim of a doctor’s scribble, are FAR more addictive than even the hardest of illegal narcotics. A lot of athletes fall victim to these types of addictions, and although it is easy to make fun of people for them, I think the more appropriate response would be sympathy.

    Most of the people who get hooked on these things trust their doctors and have no idea what they are getting into when the prescription is written.

  4. note to Ireland: hire a PI instead of asking a prospect about his mothers occupation. Although that will be the next scandal.

    note to the pharmaceutical industry: you are killing our society more than Phillip Morris.

    Best of luck Ryan, and to all the others. These pills are ruining everything. I can’t believe steroids is a bigger deal.

  5. Man, dude has hit rock-bottom, and needs help. And by the way, a “month-long investigation”? Doesn’t Montana law enforcement have more important things to do than shadow a pill-popper? Aren’t there horse thieves to be caught?

  6. As I see it, the biggest problem with Leaf is that he was such a jerk from the start. Nobody liked this guy, from his own teammates to the fans. His demeanor was such that players around the league disliked this guy, and when his career crashed it was no surprise to anyone. I think that fans thought he just took the money (I think it was 10 mil) and said “screw it”. What he’s done is on him and no one else. This guy’s life is a dumpster fire because he wants it that way. Do I wish him harm? No. I think most reasonable and feeling human beings would like to see him get cleaned up and straight. But he has to show those around him that he is willing to put in the necessary work. Right now, it ain’t lookin’ good, and many would say “serves him right”.

  7. I have been and still struggle with pain med addiction. It sucks, man. It turns you into somebody you’re not and somebody you yourself hate. It’s hard to describe. People who have never been addicted to anything should keep it zipped on the sacastic comments. This can literally happen to anybody. All you need is an injury, and a doctor with a loose hand on the script pad, and trust me, you’ll be there. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do.

  8. I remember watching him when he came on ESPN like a year ago to tell his story and how he’s getting his life back together. He seemed very genuine and seemed like he was doing well.

    This is sad.

  9. “Leaf allegedly entered the man’s house on Wednesday and swiped the bottle.”
    Well, at least he didn’t burglarize the house or steal the bottle. “Swipe” sounds so soft and gentle – let him go. They could have Zimmerman-ized him by not charging him.

  10. Comparing Tebow to Leaf is stupid. If Leaf had Tebow’s work ethic and team spirit, Leaf would probably still be playing and be talked about as one of the greatest QB’s ever.

    Leaf talent. He lacked the intangibles. Tebow has the intangibles, you just wonder if he has the talent.

  11. I’m thinkin’ the Colts made the right choice. Leaf looks evil or possessed in that picture. He sure doesn’t seem to care about his predicament.

  12. obviously the dude’s bottomed out… doesn’t the media as well law enforcement have better things to do with their time than to continually kick this dude in the ribs while he’s on the ground. . . just getting to be ri-goddamned-diculous.

  13. Ryan Leaf
    Art Schlicter
    Tony Mandarich
    Lawrence Philips
    Charles Rogers
    Andre Ware
    Akili Smith
    Todd Marinovich
    Chuck Long
    Todd Blackledge
    Tim Couch
    Heath Shuler
    David Klingler
    Dan McGwire
    Kelly Stouffer
    Cade McNown
    Joey Hattington
    Vince Young
    Ki Jna Carter
    Blair Thomas
    Curtis Enis

    and who else?

  14. Keith McCants
    Aundray Bruce
    Browning Nagle
    Please add on as I am at the game and can’t give this much attention.

  15. Leaf was the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, and he’s regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history
    Really, never heard of him.

  16. Amazingly, the Colts actually wrestled with the question of whether to take Leaf or Peyton Manning with the first selection that year.
    Up until Leaf missed his interview and showed up to the combine slow and overweight.

  17. Looks like Leaf isn’t about to surrender “Biggest NFL bust of all time” to Jamarcus without a fight…

  18. rtk23 says:
    Mar 31, 2012 4:48 PM
    They say he has an addiction to pain meds. He couldn’t possibly be in pain as a result of NFL play.


    Nor could it be for hundreds of thousands who suffer the same addiction. Its a bad thing to have happen and a tough problem to fix.

    He doesn’t need jail. He needs an in-care rehab and suboxone treatment.

  19. Watch any drug addict for a month and you could arrest them, seems the guy needs proper help if jails that help congratulations surveillance teams #sceptical

  20. Opiate addiction sucks ….. bad. You literally want to rip all of your hair out and crawl out of your skin, after you get done throwing up and pooping yourself of course. Anyone who hasnt lived it ….. keep your mouth shut cause you have no idea. Im not saying its okay, but right now hes been in jail detoxing hard for 24 hours, and he still has at least 3 days to go. I lived through that many times before, and I wouldnt trade places with him for anything.

  21. Anybody who calls Ryan Leaf the biggest draft bust in NFL history must have stopped following the league during JaMarcus Russell’s career.

  22. Ryan Leaf is truly a jerk to the core. Always has been, from grade school, high school, and then really “blossomed” in college at WSU. Tons of talent and knew it better than anyone … he was awful to compete against and truly viscerally hated by all (even teammates). Trust me, Montana is not proud of this guy … if you think Charger fans would like to disassociate from this walking train wreck … this pud deserves everything he’s getting.

  23. Wow, all of these compassionate comments. Where are these people when there’s a Jamarcuss Russel post. Oh, these are the same people? Interesting….

  24. Millions of people legally take prescription meds everyday with zero problems. Addictive personalities have problems with drugs and alcohol.

  25. How can a person with the money he earned just for being drafted mess up his life like this? Pathetic.

  26. Unfortunately, as beautiful as Montana is, there is a nasty drug culture there. A lot of meth and other garbage. Prescription drugs are a problem everywhere though. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s dabbled in more than RX meds as you can end up with seedy folks when you’re in the circle. What a bummer for a guy that could have had some kind of career in sports. I hate to see anyone struggle with addiction. Too bad to see this when he had opportunity knocking again.

  27. Its a shame he’s probably going to be throw into a prison. He wasn’t harming anybody (theft not withstanding) nor did he have a victim.

    I just don’t understand how having him stay with robbers, rapists, murderers, child molesters, etc for 24 hours a day for a few years is going to fix him.

    The money spent imprisoning him could be much better spent on treatment.

  28. Yes he was a bust. Athletes are also human beings too. Everyone of us have had friends or family who get screwed up with something. The man needs help, not your B.S. comments on how he sucked as a QB.

  29. Anyone reading this who is addicted to pain meds, the absolute best thing to take is suboxone. You will have to go to the doctor and be honest about what you are doing and with the knowledge that you will never get pain meds again unless for something serious. But it works.

  30. People seem to wait until people are rock bottom to feel sorry for them…..what about all of the pills they took before rock bottom?

    They didnt know something bad could happen?

    Didnt think so……he’s a TOOL!!!!
    Remember him flipping out on reporters?

    Good timing for this to come out for Indy, it’ll remind them NOT to pass up on a REAL STAR, Andrew Luck.

  31. Chandler1.

    You know nothing, so really take a pass on this conversation. Pain killers are purified, controlled amounts of opium. Essentially heroin with out all the crap they cut it with. Opiates are the single worst thing to come off of. Along with alcohol it can actually kill you during detox.
    In fact most of the people who are addicted to pain killers, originally had them prescribed by a doctor.

    I am an addict (currently sober). But as they say once an addict always an addict. I am not one of those people who use drugs and blame other people or society for my addiction. I willingly used them and liked it, in the process I nearly lost everything, and severely hurt my family and friends. I was a dirt bag of the worst variety. I did my jail time and deserved very second of it. I don’t pity myself or other users because we all did it to ourselves, but I do feel terrible for people who were given a medicine to releive pain only to become
    dependent on it.

    I’m just saying if haven’t walked in those shoes, don’t run your mouth because it can happen to you. If and when it does you will feel kinda stupid for talking trash

  32. I’m still a Ryan Leaf fan despite this…. he really wanted to set things right and clear his family name in the eyes of the fans…. he accomplished this recently…. it just took a few hundred milligrams of codeine per day to do it… not ideal, but we’ll take it…

  33. Why so much sympathy for a highly paid junkie? How many junkies get book tours? He can afford $500-$700 shipments,we can barely afford to fill up the tank to go to a job that may or may not pay $500-$700 a week.

  34. Everybody gets all worked up over some player smoking weed while ignoring the real drug problem:prescription drug abuse. No comparison between the “evil weed” and the dangerous and addictive drugs being pushed by big pharma.

  35. I wish this guy the best of luck.

    Once upon a time he was on top of the world and because of his personal demons and addiction it’s been taken away.

    If jail, followed by a 1 year rehab program, doesn’t help him, nothing will, and he will be come a three time loser and spend life in jail.

    Wake UP Leaf! Time to grow up and be a man

  36. If Ryan where to actually turn over a new leaf, we can be sure it would be a coca leaf.

    Anyway, and just for the sheer fun of it, I’d like to point out that without the Green Bay Packers giving Favre his 2nd, 3rd, and especially 4th chances (fishing him off Atl’s third string, sticking with him in mid ’94 when Favre was sporting an inspiring 78 QB rating, and, of course, the VICODIN addiction). If it weren’t for the Packers, BEFORE ALL THE MVP’s, we’d have been looking at similar mug shots of Favre. Of course we got other kinds of still pictures along the way…

    Given all the drinking and drugging Favre DID AS A STARTER just imagine how he would have fared as a backup to Elway, or perhaps Montana in KC, which were the only two teams other than the Packers to show interest in Favre. Without the Packers, and being presented with a choice to either get it together or be gone, Favre would have ruined himself without a doubt.

  37. Dear wicky888 and lilb360,

    I read your comments at 8:27PM and 12:31AM with empathy. I have never tried any street drugs or Rx pain killers (other than maybe 3 or 4 prescribed pills in total my whole life after surgeries or tooth extractions). So I’m clueless.

    The Lord’s prayer has the phrase “and forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us.” It’s not possible to simultaneously say that prayer and sustain a hard attitude about people caught in drug addictions. So, many of the other notes left here deliver more pain where more than enough pain had already existed.

    I’m feeling sad right now that so many people are trapped in this. It’s too many people. The core strength of our society is unravelling one family at a time under the weight of drugs. The mess seems to be accelerating.

    How do we fix this? Legalizing it doesn’t help fix the addictions and the personal crashes like Mr. Leaf’s. Criminalizing it is creating a massive prison population …. probably the incarcerated headcount exceeds the soldiers in our armed forces during WWII.

    There are bullets coming into into Texas from across the border. Can’t we at least stop that flow of drugs? How about taking some of the types of inventory siezed by law enforcement and treating it with something creative … maybe a chemical that blocks eyesight for a week …. and then bleeding that back into the supply chain down in Mexico after publicizing the plan?

    The USA definitely needs a much, much, much more effective approach than any strategy that has even been tried so far. If the situation is out of control in Montana, imagine the grief in our major cities.

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