Windsor Star

Drug smuggling jock jailed

Western university football star gets three years for ecstasy, gun

- BY DOUG SCHMIDT STAR STAFF REPORTER

A budding football star has been forced to set aside any dreams of going profession­al after a Windsor judge on Monday handed him a three-year prison sentence for his role in a drugsmuggl­ing operation.

Pulled over by Canadian border guards at the Ambassador Bridge on Nov. 15, 2007, Olusola Olumogba, 23, was arrested after ziplock baggies containing 1,320 ecstasy pills were recovered from the trunk of his rented Dodge Charger and US$105,015 was found in the spare tire. Olumogba also carried an unloaded .25-calibre semiautoma­tic pistol in his waistband and had another US$3,492 in a pocket.

Noting a very positive pre-sentence report, Ontario court Justice Lloyd Dean said prior to sentencing that, other than his involvemen­t as an armed courier in this foiled smuggling scheme, Olumogba appeared to have a bright future.

Defence lawyer John Sitter said his client, a former wide receiver with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs football team, missed trying out for the Montreal Alouettes this sum- mer while sitting in pre-sentence custody at Windsor Jail.

Olumogba, who also goes by the first name Richard, was handed a two-year sentence on the drug importatio­n conviction and another year — the mandatory minimum under the Criminal Code — consecutiv­e for the illegal firearm. Dean gave Olumogba the standard two-for-one credit for five months spent in pre-sentence custody, meaning he has another two years and two months in a federal prison.

The sentence “reflects the fact this gentleman made a terrible decision,” said Sitter. Given the circumstan­ces and facts, however, he added his client, who pleaded guilty in June, did relatively well in sentencing.

As part of his punishment, Olumogba, a Brampton resident who most recently held a partial football scholarshi­p to a university in Tennessee, forfeits to the Crown the $105,015 seized from the spare tire, is prohibited for life from possessing firearms and other restricted weapons and was ordered to submit a DNA sample to police.

“He was definitely part of a bigger operation,” said federal Crown attorney Richard Pollock, who had argued for a four-year sentence.

He said Olumogba had been “very co-operative” with authoritie­s.

The court heard that Olumogba told authoritie­s at the time of his arrest that he was “just trying to make a quick buck, $10,000. Times are tough, you know.”

The court also heard that the gun was purchased by a former classmate of Olumogba in Tennessee and that the Tennessee man told U.S. federal officers he’d bought guns for Olumogba before.

Olumogba took law and communicat­ion courses while studying and playing at UWO.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada