Ex-Dallas Cowboy arrested in Ellis County
By 12/20/2001 00:00:00
TRUMBULL - Former Dallas Cowboys' offensive lineman Nate Newton, who played on the Super Bowl championship teams of the 1990s, was arrested at approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 in Ellis County by a Palmer police officer, a state trooper, Dallas County sheriff's deputies and Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
The Palmer Police Department provided a drug-sniffing dog. Authorities discovered 175 pounds of marijuana valued at $16,000.
Known for his battle of the bulge to meet weight each season with the Cowboys, Newton, 39, and two other men were pulled over by law enforcement officers while traveling southbound Interstate 45 at Risinger Road.
Newton was driving his red pickup. A black Chevrolet Impala and a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo accompanied Newton on I-45. The marijuana was found in the trunk of the Monte Carlo inside two duffel bags and a suitcase. Authorities uncovered $10,000 in Newton's vehicle.
Newton, Charles Deaundra Howard, 25, of Garland and Bruce Freeman-Canady, 30, were taken to Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas and held for alleged possession with intent to deliver marijuana. Billy Crenshaw, another suspect, was still on the loose.
Newton was transferred Friday, Dec. 14 to a federal prison in Seagoville. A judge said Newton would remain there until drug-trafficking charges against him are resolved.
Don Peritz, Dallas County Sheriff's Department investigator, said DEA requested assistance from the sheriff's department when agents spotted Newton driving a pickup truck and one of the other men driving another vehicle.
'They [authorities] were trying to catch up to them,' Peritz said. 'They had spotted them earlier in Dallas.
'We [the sheriff's department] have no idea [where Newton and his companions were headed].'
Mike Dromgoole of the DEA said the arrests resulted during investigations, which were still in progress. John Michael Donnelly of the DEA said the pursuit began following a tip from an informant concerning a drug run to Houston.
Newton was held without bail on the most recent charge after being arrested a little more than a month ago near Lafayette, La. when Louisiana state police said they found 213 pounds of marijuana in a van driven by Newton.
Louisiana police also said they discovered $18,000 in a pickup truck registered to Newton. Another man was driving the pickup accompanying Newton in the van. Newton and three men who were with him were released on $100,000 bail from St. Martin Parish Jail in Louisiana.
Louisiana District Attorney Phil Haney said Newton was to be arraigned in January in Louisiana, but the second arrest could have an effect on the case there. Haney said once they had all the facts, he was sure the judge would be very interested in reviewing the matter.
Haney said there had been arrests made by federal authorities involving suspects with thousands of pounds of marijuana, but the feds didn't take the case because the amount didn't reach their limit.
Newton was denied bail by U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney after learning of his arrest in Ellis County. Stickney said he couldn't overlook Newton's prior arrest.
The judge said he would've had to have very strong assurances Newton would stay out of trouble if released again on bail considering he was arrested on similar charges just last month.
Former Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver Michael Irvin, known as 'The Playmaker,' showed support for Newton last Friday when Irvin attended the hearing.
Irvin himself had been on probation on drug charges in Dallas County. Another drug charge against Irvin was dropped.
A hearing had been scheduled for Monday afternoon, Dec. 17 for Howard. Stickney granted bail to Freeman-Canady.