Report: Kaczur cooperates with DEA following arrest
ESPN.com news services
Updated: June 4, 2008, 10:48 AM ET
New England Patriots offensive lineman Nick Kaczur was arrested in April for illegal possession of prescription painkillers and cooperated with federal agents in a sting of his alleged supplier, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
The newspaper cited the alleged dealer's lawyer, a federal affidavit and two sources who had been briefed on the investigation and were speaking on condition of anonymity in reporting that Kaczur, 28, wore a wire during three drug buys in southeastern Massachusetts. The third of those buys was followed by federal agents arresting the alleged supplier.
The lawyer for the alleged dealer said Kazcur told investigators he had been purchasing hundreds of oxycodone pills from the man since November 2007, according to the report.
The alleged dealer, Daniel Ekasala, was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on three counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute. He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston, the newspaper reported.
On Tuesday, Kaczur denied taking part in a federal investigation or buying drugs and said he was not familiar with Ekasala, the Globe reported.
"I don't know what you're talking about, bro," Kaczur said on the front porch of his Attleboro, Mass. home, according to the Globe. "I don't know where this is coming from. I don't know what you are talking about."
According to a six-page affidavit filed by an agent for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, an unnamed cooperating witness -- a buyer who was reaching out to the alleged dealer by text message -- met with the dealer to exchange cash for drugs, the newspaper reported.
But Ekasala's lawyer, Bernard Grossberg and two other people briefed on the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Kaczur was the cooperating witness in the case, according to the Globe.
According to the report, New York State Police said Kaczur was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor, following an April 27 traffic stop on the New York State Thruway.
Kaczur had been pulled over for speeding in Whitestown, N.Y., when police discovered a "small amount of controlled substance for which he did not have a prescription," a substance identified as the painkiller oxycodone, N.Y. State Police Sergeant Kern Swoboda said, according to the Globe.
The story did not address the current disposition of Kaczur's case in New York.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James declined to comment on Kaczur, according to the report. "We're deferring all questions on this matter to the appropriate law enforcement officials," he said.
Kaczur's agent, Vance Malinovic, said he was not prepared to comment on the case, according to the Globe.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also declined to speak directly to the case, according to the report. "It's a law enforcement matter, and any questions should be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agencies," he said.
Grossberg said Ekasala has also been asked to cooperate by federal agents, but has repeatedly refused. He said Ekasala was "an extremely reluctant participant and was somewhat enamored of being friendly with or having contact with a professional athlete," according to the report.
"My client was always sympathetic to Mr. Kaczur and suggested to him many times, as the text messages will show, that Kaczur ought not to be doing what he was doing," Grossberg said, according to the newspaper. "Professional athletes in this country are treated like royalty, and royalty sometimes abuses the people they come in contact with, and I think that's what happened to Ekasala."
But assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly, while declining to comment on the investigation or Kaczur's role as a cooperating witness, said he didn't buy Grossberg's explanation of how Ekasala came to become a drug supplier. "The crazy fan defense doesn't seem real plausible, but it will be up to a jury to decide," Kelly said, according to the report.
The Patriots selected Kaczur in the third round of the 2005 draft with the 36th pick overall. A native of Brantford, Ontario, he played four years at Toledo, where he was the first player in school history to make the All-Mid American Conference team in four seasons.