Darren Sharper, the former NFL safety who played with the New Orleans Saints in 2009 and 2010, was sentenced to 18 years and four months in federal prison this morning. He previously had pleaded guilty of conspiracy to distribute drugs with the intent to commit rape in four jurisdictions, including New Orleans.
Sharper earlier had negotiated a plea deal that would have netted him nine years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo rejected the deal, saying his crimes were too serious.
Below the cut: the statement from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office.
DARREN SHARPER SENTENCED ON DRUG DISTRIBUTION CHARGES
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that DARREN SHARPER, age 40, formerly of New Orleans, was sentenced today after having previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute Alprazolam, Diazepam and Zolpidem, with intent to commit rape and two counts of distributing these substances with intent to commit rape.
U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced SHARPER to 220 months of incarceration, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $20,000 fine.
SHARPER has previously pled guilty to similar charges in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. He has also entered into a conditional plea in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. According to court records, SHARPER admitted that he and others distributed controlled substances to unsuspecting women and then had sexual relations with them while they were incapacitated. SHARPER also admitted that he conspired with other persons in committing these offenses.
Co-defendants Brandon Licciardi and Erik Nunez, who both pled guilty last month, are scheduled for sentencing on October 13, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department in investigating this matter. U.S. Attorney Polite also thanked the victims for their courage and willingness to come forward. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael E. McMahon, Theodore Carter, and Brandon Long were in charge of the prosecution.