Crime

Former pro football player from Rock Hill charged by FBI with heroin distribution

A former professional football player from Rock Hill is in jail after he was arrested by the FBI on heroin distribution charges, according to federal agents and court documents.

Justin Maurice Rainey, 34, was taken into custody Wednesday in Rock Hill by federal agents, said Don Wood, spokesperson for the FBI Columbia office.

Wood declined further comment.

Rainey pleaded not guilty to the felony drug charges at a federal court hearing late Wednesday in Columbia, court records show.

Rainey was charged with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture containing heroin, according to federal indictments unsealed after his arrest.

The charges carry sentences up to 40 years in prison if convicted, according to federal sentencing guidelines.

Rainey played football at Northwestern from 1998 to 2002. He made the All-Region team as a freshman on the Trojan varsity team and was an integral member of the 2001 team that lost to Spartanburg on an overtime field goal in the state final.

Rainey played college football at Middle Tennessee State from 2002 to 2006 and later played professionally in Canada. His image is included in a mural on the wall of the Northwestern football offices, alongside the program’s other pro players.

Rainey has past convictions in South Carolina court in York County dating back to 2011, court records show.

Rainey was sentenced in 2011 to five years probation after pleading guilty to three weapons charges, including pointing and presenting a gun, court records show.

In 2013, Rainey pleaded guilty in York County court to two counts of drug possession and resisting arrest, according to court records. He also has convictions for DUI and failure to have a required ignition lock system in a vehicle, records show.

Federal prosecutors at the US. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case. However, prosecutors said Rainey has a detention hearing scheduled Monday at the federal courthouse in Columbia.

Wood and Richland County Sheriff’s Office officials said Rainey is being held without bond at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia.

Efforts to obtain comment from Rainey’s lawyer, Daniel Leonardi of the federal public defender’s office in Columbia, were unsuccessful.

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