Leaf facing real possibility of prison time

Leaf pleads guilty on drug, burglary charges

With two arrests in two days, one-time WSU football star quarterback Ryan Leaf is facing the possibility of heading to prison on drug and burglary charges.

Leaf was first arrested Friday in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana. Police there say they’ve been investigating him for a month, as he had packages of painkillers delivered to him from a pharmacy in Florida.

He bonded out of jail Saturday and was arrested again Sunday afternoon. This time, a couple found a man matching Leaf’s description in their home. When he left, they noticed their prescription drugs were gone.

Leaf arrests Monday

Leaf has been struggling with addiction to painkillers for years but appeared to have beaten that addiction and was on the road to redemption. It appears this weekend he took a downward spiral that could lead right to prison.

Just six months ago, Leaf sat in the KXLY studios and confessed to years of bad behavior and an addiction to painkillers that nearly cost him everything.

“I looked in the mirror and said, ‘You know, you’re not taking these for physical pain anymore. There’s a different level of pain here and you’re self-medicating in a way that’s going to be destructive,'” Leaf said.

His interview at KXLY was part of a nationwide tour, promoting the first of three books. Leaf, on probation for stealing prescription drugs in Texas, finally seemed to be back on solid ground and revealing the scared kid inside the man so many sports fans grew to hate.

“I felt it was important for people to understand exactly who I was during this time, when I was supposed to be the leader of men and I was struggling to be truly okay with myself,” Leaf said.

Now, it appears those demons are back. On Friday he was busted in Great Falls for stealing prescription drugs from friends and having boxes of painkillers delivered to his home. His arrest made headlines nationwide. When he was released from jail Friday night he released a statement saying, in part, “I’ve made some mistakes and I have no excuses. I am using the tools I’ve learned to move forward, rather than backwards.”

But that forward motion didn’t last long. On Sunday police say Leaf broke into a stranger’s home and was caught in the act. The homeowners picked Leaf out of a lineup and, according to the Great Falls Tribune, when police caught up with Leaf they found 89 hydrocodone pills in his bathrobe pocket and a bottle of liquid codeine in his home.

There’s no chance Leaf can immediately bond out this time. He’s booked on a probation violation in addition to the drug and burglary charges. He’s serving 10 years probation for his crimes in Texas.

This weekend’s arrests mean he’ll likely have to serve prison time for violating that probation.