Former Pirate & NFL player gets 14 year federal prison sentence

Richard Alston was sentenced to 14 years in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday.
Richard Alston was sentenced to 14 years in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday.(Wake County jail)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 2:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 2:37 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - A former ECU Pirate who went on to play for the NFL is now headed to a federal prison.

Richard Alston was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years on federal drug and money laundering charges.

The 39-year-old Raleigh man played for the Pirates from 1999 to 2002 as a quarterback and then a wide receiver. He played for the Cleveland Browns as well as for several Canadian football teams.

The feds say Alston took part in a multi-year and cross-country conspiracy to traffic in large amounts of marijuana and to distribute that high-grade marijuana to people in Raleigh.

During a 2017 search, agents found over 40 pounds of pot and more than $370,000 in cash at one apartment. Federal agents then intercepted a shipment headed to Alston and seized 440 pounds of pot and $67,814 in cash.

The feds claim Alston had laundered over $2.7 million through a business bank account over a several year period and conspired to distribute more than 2,200 pounds of marijuana.

Alston was sentenced in Wilmington.

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