A Montana prosecutor formally charged former Washington State University and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf with four felonies Friday in connection with allegations that he broke into homes to swipe prescription painkillers. John Parker, Cascade County attorney, charged Leaf with two counts of burlary and two counts of criminal possession of a dangerous drug.
Prosecutors accused Leaf of entering an acquaintance’s home with the aim of stealing oxycodone March 29. Authorities, acting on a tip, arrrested him a day later, but released him on $76,000 bond.
Two days later, Leaf, according to authorities, broke into another home and stole a supply of hydrcodone. Police arrested him again.
Leaf has been held in a Great Falls, MT., jail ever since.
According to Parker, if convicted, Leaf faces a possible prison sentence of up to 50 years on all four charges. Leaf also faces additional charges in Texas of violating his 10-year probation in that state.
Leaf won the 1997 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year award after leading the Cougars to their first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years. In 1998, the San Diego Chargers made Leaf the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, behind Peyton Manning.
Leaf, however, washed out of the NFL after only 25 games. He later became a quarterbacks coach at a small Texas college, and it was while he held that position that he first got into trouble with the law for stealing prescription drugs.