Javaris Crittenton — the former Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards guard best known by NBA fans for his infamous firearms-in-the-locker-room confrontation with teammate Gilbert Arenas in 2009 — was indicted Wednesday on drug charges in Atlanta, where the 26-year-old was already awaiting trial on murder charges stemming from the 2011 death of a 22-year-old woman.
John Barr and Greg Amante of ESPN.com have more:
Crittenton and 13 other people were named in the indictment that was initially the result of an investigation conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, according to a source close to the investigation. According to that source, Crittenton conspired to deal cocaine and marijuana in the months before he was indicted last year for his alleged role in an August 2011 Atlanta shooting death.
Shortly after 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, DEA agents, federal marshals and local police descended on Crittenton's home on a cul de sac in Fayetteville, a suburb just south of Atlanta. Crittenton was led away in handcuffs and was booked into the Fulton County Jail. [...]
According to the district attorney's office, "Crittenton and the other suspects are accused of selling multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and several hundred pounds of marijuana" during a seven-month investigation dating to June 2012. He will have an initial court appearance Thursday morning on those charges.
ESPN's call to Crittenton's attorney, Brian Steel, went unreturned, but according to Reuters, the lawyer said Wednesday that "Mr. Crittenton would not involve himself in criminal conduct."
This new indictment only compounds Crittenton's already estimable legal trouble. He was indicated in April 2013 for alleged involvement in the August 2011 shooting death of Julian Jones in southwest Atlanta, which authorities claim was tied to a second shooting, with both having connections to local gang activity and a possible relationship to an incident four months earlier in which Crittenton and a friend were robbed, losing a reported $50,000 worth of jewelry. Back in October, a Fulton County Superior Court judge ordered that Crittenton remain home every night until the beginning of his murder trial after the former Georgia Tech and NBA guard allegedly attempted to intimidate the prosecutor in the murder case.
Before the robbery, shooting and subsequent indictments, Crittenton was reportedly searching for a way back into the NBA, which he'd been unsuccessful in doing since his Dec. 21, 2009, standoff with Arenas. The incident reportedly stemmed from Crittenton losing a $1,100 pot to then-teammate JaVale McGee in the card game Bourré, leading to the 6-foot-5 guard allegedly yelling at McGee, Arenas allegedly stepping in, and Crittenton allegedly threatening Arenas with gunfire. Days later, Arenas brought four guns into the Wizards locker room, accompanied by a note calling on Crittenton to "PICK 1" to use in carrying out his threat to shoot Arenas. Crittenton reportedly chose to pull his own weapon in the locker room instead.
Arenas and Crittenton were each suspended for the rest of the 2009-10 season for their roles in the locker-room incident. Arenas returned to the NBA, but never again reached his All-Star peak, and hasn't suited up for an NBA game since the spring of 2012. Crittenton never played in the league again — the Charlotte Bobcats brought him into training camp in 2010, but cut him before the season, and Crittenton made brief appearances in China and with the D-League's Dakota Wizards before the April 2011 robbery.
An odd twist-of-fate note: Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, whose office is in charge of Crittenton's prosecution on the murder and drug charges, is the uncle of Houston Rockets star Dwight Howard, with whom Crittenton played high school basketball at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. The two former teammates, Georgia prep stars and first-round draft picks' lives have gone in very, very different directions over the past few years.
Crittenton is being held without bail ahead of an initial hearing on the drug indictment, scheduled for Thursday.
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