Ex-football player receives 20-year sentence on drug charge

North Carolina

FILE – This June 13, 2016 file photo shows Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Florida. On Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, the FBI arrested U.S. federal narcotics agent Jose Irizarry and his wife, Nathalia Gomez Irizarry, at their residence in Puerto Rico, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the arrest. He has been charged with conspiring to launder money with the very same Colombian drug cartels he was supposed to be fighting. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A former college football player who went to trial for violating North Carolina’s sports agent law has received a 20-year prison sentence on a drug conviction in Georgia following a probation violation.

Superior Court Judge Terry N. Massey imposed the sentence Wednesday on Christopher Jamel Hawkins, 37, on a charge originating from an April 2009 traffic stop.

According to a sentencing filing Friday in Morgan County, Hawkins receives credit for time served in custody for roughly three weeks in 2009 and since June 2012.

That’s when Hawkins – who played at UNC and Marshall from 2001-05 – pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in a deal to receive 10 years of probation in a first-offender program. A grand jury indicted Hawkins in June 2009 for cocaine trafficking, marijuana possession and a seatbelt violation, according to court documents.

Brad J. Evans, Hawkins’ Georgia-based attorney, declined comment Friday night when reached by The Associated Press.

In early March, a North Carolina judge declared a mistrial in Hawkins’ case for violating the state’s agent law by providing cash to ex-Tar Heels football players Robert Quinn, Charles Brown and Kendric Burney in 2010.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict, leaving open the possibility of another trial. Prosecutor W. Scott Harkey declined comment on the status of that case but told the AP his office is aware of the Georgia sentencing.

In February, North Carolina authorities arrested Hawkins for receiving a parcel containing about $160,000 worth of marijuana and THC edibles. He was taken into custody in March on a Georgia arrest warrant, with a court document citing that case and a separate 2016 drug case in North Carolina among probation violations.

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