A former professional football player from South Carolina will spend more than 10 years in federal prison for distribution of heroin in Rock Hill, according to federal prosecutors and court documents.
Justin Maurice Rainey, 36, was sentenced late Tuesday in federal court to 126 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, said Jane Barrett Taylor, assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina.
The sentence includes five years of supervision after his release from prison, Taylor said.
FBI agents arrested Rainey in Rock Hill in July 2019.
In July, Rainey pleaded guilty to possession of more than 100 grams of a heroin mixture with intent to distribute. Rainey waived any right to appeal when he pleaded guilty, court records show.
Rainey has been free on bail since his arrest. He was released on bond Tuesday after sentencing in court then must turn himself in at prison, federal prosecutors said.
Former high school, college, pro player
Rainey played in the Canadian Football League and briefly with the New York Jets of the NFL.
He has past South Carolina convictions in South Carolina dating back to 2011 for weapons, drug possession and DUI, York County court records show.
Rainey was an all-Region football player at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill until 2002, then played college football at Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic through 2006.
The criminal case involving former pro football players from Rock Hill is the third in two years in a community called “Football City, U.S.A.”
In 2019 former pro football player Jonathan Hefney was sentenced to nine years in a South Carolina prison after pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine in Rock Hill after his playing career was finished.
And earlier this year in April in York County, former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed six people, two of them children, before killing himself in a mass shooting outside Rock Hill.
Herald reporter Alex Zietlow contributed.