September 25, 2016

Oxy-Dirty

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Boston Globe is reporting in its Wednesday editions that Patriots starting right offensive tackle Nick Kaczur has turned federal informant in a drug sting after being arrested with the prescription painkiller Oxycontin in late April.

Globe reporters John R. Ellement and Shelley Murphy have the sorry details.

Kaczur, in the best season of his three year career, started 15 games for the AFC champs last fall. According to the Globe, he has since told investigators that he began purchasing the pills in November, as the Patriots moved towards the playoffs and their now infamous Super Bowl loss.

Earlier this week, the Patriots signed right tackle Oliver Ross, veteran of 53 NFL starts, to a free agent deal. It would be hard to believe that signing is unrelated to this morning’s news.  

Kaczur is the third Patriots player to run afoul of the law for drug possession since the New York Giants upset the undefeated Pats in early February. Safety Willie Andrews and veteran runner Kevin Faulk were detained for marijuana possession before the end of that month, though Faulk denied the pot was his and later passed a drug test that helped him avoid the NFL’s substance abuse program. Lest we forget, the season began with the suspension of veteran Rodney Harrison after he was collared for purchasing performance enhancing drugs by mail.

Ignoring an ESPN-fueled, made-for-television cluster-controversy may well be adviseable, even necessary, for Patriots fans, but denying or diminishing these events are not. Surely these players are human beings as well, subject to the same foibles as us all. Surely each one must be viewed as an individual first, accountable for their own actions.

But for the third time in four months, the New England Patriots have had a player arrested for drugs.

We can’t ignore that.

Comments

  1. Eh. Interesting news story but silly if it (or the pot stuff) resonates around the league since none has an impact on the field or on other innocent people (such as wife beating, drunk driving).

  2. Nopointe says:

    Did Kaczur vomit the pills up and then pick them out of his vomit to eat them? If he did, and he owns a lawn tractor. Then I just can’t stand behind him any longer.

    The elegy eminating from Starbucks worring if he would retire for the next 15 years would be too much for me to take.

  3. Not to get carried away, Ben (which is why I didn’t mention it at first, but what the hell) but I have to wonder why someone has to buy hundreds of pills so often. I’m not sure this doesn’t resonate beyond the individual.

  4. You’re absolutely right about the quantity, Scott. And this is someone with no local ties. Likely the only people he knows and regularly interacts with in New England are his Patriots co-workers. Obviously, we don’t know many of the details, but this is somewhat concerning–probably moreso than the pot arrests, the Harrison HGH use, and certainly the improprieties in video scouting practices.

  5. Nopointe says:

    I guess I’m just not shocked that an NFL player needs pain medication. And once they’re on it, you never cut back on the quantity because your tolerance increases.

    If they revealed how hurt they really were to a doctor, they’d get the pills legally but they also wouldn’t be cleared to play. Then they’d get labeled soft, and end up losing a lot of money in the long run.

    When Bruschi had his stroke he wasn’t even concerned at first, because even though he hadn’t had those symptoms – severe headache, unable to use one side of his body – they didn’t seem that odd compared to how he’d normally wake up after a game. And this was after the Pro Bowl, they hadn’t played a real game in almost a month.

    Thats how beat to hell these guys are during the season, imagine a job so punishing that when you wake up and can’t use 1 side of your body you just think it’s normal.

  6. SJGMoney says:

    Ben, you couldn’t be more wrong. Forget about the Patriots for one minute and think about the destruction of this man’s life. The coming suspension is the least of his worries, if you know anything about Oxy addictions he’s in for a long haul of rehab, a haul most don’t ever successfully recover from. Oxy addictions are almost impossible to break, they are a huge cash drain, and then when the cash is gone they lead to the much cheaper heroin. Goodnight, sweet prince.

    As for no impact: You don’t think losing a starting lineman is important? And how do you know how many innocent family members have been hurt by this horrible addiction?

  7. even if you quintuple the amount as it would be prescribed to cancer patients, it doesn’t come close to a couple hundred pills a week.

    prospect of kaczur running a ghetto cvs out of the locker room scares me.

  8. I want to be careful about jumping to the conclusion that these pills were being distributed to other players, or distributed at all. He’s been here three years so its possible he has developed relationships outside the team. I do believe these questions regarding his use and possible distribution are inevitable, however, given the report that he purchased hundreds of pills every few days. In Maine, Oxy is notoriously known as hillbilly heroin, and for a time here it was frequently at the center of a variety of criminal activities, such as robberies and so on. I have practically zero knowledge beyond that, but something that potent taken by one individual by the hundreds every few days?

  9. “possession of a controled substance in the 7th degree” and he sings like Pavarotti on his middle man. Weak. He is getting all the bad press anyway. Stand up like a man and take your lumps.

  10. All due respect, but on the Big List of Nick Kaczur’s F**k Ups, rolling over on the drug dealer doesn’t even crack the top ten. The idea that he was victimized by Kaczur is ridiculous. He can stand up like a man too, though it doesn’t seem at first blush like he’s very accustomed to it.

  11. I didn’t say, or mean to imply, the drug dealer was victimized.

  12. We’re the 100 pills part of the “Sting” operation. Do they indicate how many pills he was taking before he got in trouble withthe law?

    if he was doing this consistenlt, then they would be trying him as a dealer (more than likely) and I doubt that would be a misdemeanor.

  13. Looky Lou says:

    I’m not “denying or diminishing” anything but on the other hand, I was never that naive to think Patriot players were somehow “different” or that they were all choir boys………just a blip on the radar screen to me, can’t really get all wound up about this one. (or Faulk and Andrews for that matter)

  14. Its not about whether they’re all choir boys and paragons of virtue. It’s never been about that. This is about three players from the organization being arrested for being in possession of drugs since February 2nd, and what kind of organizational culture exists where these players felt comfortable indulging in some pretty risky behavior with the ever present possibility that football could be taken away from them. The team itself hasn’t been shy about promoting that their players are dedicated professionals and focused on football. Sorry, but at least a few of them aren’t exactly coming off like that. I mean, Andrews was driving around with a shitload of pot and 7K in cash. Kaczur’s spending 4K as frequently as once a week for a dangerous, additive drug. There’s two guys right there that are dedicated and focused on something other than football. If it isn’t time to start asking questions now, when the hell would it be?

  15. Looky Lou says:

    ….easy, easy, go ahead and ask all the questions you want……I don’t know what kind of “organizational culture exists”….I just know that almost every NFL team has players arrested each year for various offences. I’m not saying it’s OK, it’s just the way it is…..I don’t see Belichick as the sentimental type, if he doesn’t think these guys are dedicated and focused on Football, I imagine he’ll let them go……whatever, as long as nobody else gets “busted” soon, I see this one having a short shelf life

  16. Lou, I recognize that every year a segment of NFL players get themelves in trouble. That – with rare exception – has not been the case here. When three occur within a short period of time, all three with some pretty risky behavior (though I don’t equate something like Faulk with something like Kaczur), its reasonable to ask what happened to the businesslike approach that the team itself has boasted of. Particularly when it has escalated to one of their starters buying, gobbling, or doing God knows what with hundreds of fairly dangerous pills.

  17. This is not a good trend for the “workman-like” Patriots. Andrews was caught with a half pound of weed. That is quite a bit to be used for personal, recreational use. Kaczur was involved in an Oxy sting. That drug has ruined so many lives it’s incredible. A lot of people, without the benefit of an NFL check coming in, turn from Oxy to Heroin.

    I am not saying either one was dealing. I have no idea. But these issues are serious. This is not spygate or running-up-the-score-gate. Hopefully these are two isolated instances, but if these guys played for the Raiders what would people around here be saying?

  18. danger? says:

    I don’t traverse the world of drug dealing, but from the movies I watch, aren’t Kaczur’s life and those of his family now in jeopardy because the drug dealers know that he is the informant? I think he has a lot more to lose than a football career because someone printed this story. Can someone let me know if I am overstating the case?

  19. TimBuck4 says:

    Let’s come back to reality here, he was pulled over on a traffic violation and the cops found a prescription drug with no prescription. Then, They rolled him to trap someone selling large quantities. This does not mean that he was taking huge amounts or dealing, only that he knew someone who could supply. There is no evidence I have seen that he has some horrible addiction ala HOF Brett Favre or any other NFL player.

    In order to play pro football, you need to take painkillers to some degree. If you don’t know that, then you should get off your high horse and strap on a helmet because your pop warner memories are different than the reality of the rigors of the NFL.

  20. TimBuck4 says:

    Hollywood Danger, according to the lawyers, the dealer was fairly small time. Some small time dealer is not going to track down an NFL players’ family as a revenge hit. The tapes are already made and it’s just a matter of time before the dealer(s) plead. Yes, you are overstating the case.

  21. Sorry, Tim, but I was stating Oxy is a terrible drug. It has ruined many lives. Someone is not immune to addiction because they happen to play a professional sport. If you don’t know that you should get off your high horse and see who is in rehabs these days. Doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, all walks of life. What league do you strap on a helmet for? AFC or NFC?

  22. Smaller dealers have bigger dealers. Bigger dealers generally don’t like to get caught. Only happens in Hollywood though.

    “PLANO, Texas – A convicted steroids dealer who recently met with NFL security officials and gave them names of players he said bought steroids from him has been found dead in his home.”
    – Boston Herald 6/5

  23. SJGMoney says:

    “There is no evidence I have seen that he has some horrible addiction ala HOF Brett Favre or any other NFL player.”

    @Timbuck4, how would you know if he has a horrible addiction, or in that regard are you a Pop Warner medical expert? The guy was buying huge numbers of pills on a frequent basis. Either he was dealing himself or over-using, isn’t either one a huge problem.

    For his long-term health I hope he was dealing because I have heard from experts, and yes I’ve talked to experts on this matter, Oxy addictions are extremely tough to recover from. As in 95% against, tough.

  24. Thanks for the instructive post, Tim. I’ve been watching 40 years and had no idea they even took so much as an aspirin. Shocking.

    Quick follow up question, though: What percentage of NFL players are getting treatment for their pain by buying pills from a fan in a shopping mall parking lot?

  25. TimBuck4 says:

    I started playing full-contact football in an adult semipro league (NEFL) at age 35. That’s when I found Aleve and ended up taking it every day for a year or so, and then on and off after that. So, it’s not a pro league but with plenty of pain and it’s not such an absurd extrapolation to think the pros have more to deal with. What irks me is when people “remember” how easy it was to play football as kids, if they even did, and then bash pros who are wrecking their bodies for our entertainment and a relatively short term gain of fame and fortune. It seems to me that people who have never played are the quickest to pass judgement.

    In the article I read, the dealer himself disputes the “100’s” claim, so the details are in refute. Can you separate what happened before his arrest, which is in refute, from what happened after when the DEA was using him in the sting. It was the DEA who arranged to have him meet in a dingy parking lot.

    Brett Favre publically acknowledged an addiction to pain killers. If you don’t think it was horrible, please read the article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/features/favre/flashbacks/bitter_pill/

  26. Tim, I think you are way off. I don’t see anyone here claiming to know what a pro football player goes through in terms of pain (except you I guess). You are arguing with no one.

  27. TimBuck4 says:

    Sorry to be so argumentative, but when I see people throwing around terms like “Ghetto CVS” lockerroom and “Hillbilly Heroin”, I should stop and remind myself that there are some patriots haters that are going to latch on to any story, with minimal facts, and smear the entire team and organization.

    Really, I hope you guys read the Favre article and hold off judgement of Kazur until more facts come in.

    The Patriots are a great team and even on a great team, as part of a great organization, people are going to make some mistakes.

  28. Looky Lou says:

    ….I’m still having a hard time figuring out what the “argument” IS…. yes, players getting arrested isn’t a good thing, but do I think the Patriots have a MAJOR TEAMWIDE PROBLEM?…I’m not in the locker room so I can only guess, my guess is NO…..I don’t think this story should be ignored, but what kind of “answers’ are people looking for?….should the Patriots hire a nanny to follow these guys around 24/7?……have more team meetings to tell them, “DRUGS ARE BAD!”?…..have the team doctor DOUBLE their dose of legal painkillers don’t they don’t have to “hit the streets”?….or because in all 3 incidents they were originally pulled over for a minor traffic violation, just tell em’, “Hey guys, WATCH OUT FOR THOSE COPS!

  29. Tim, first of all, it was I who “threw around the term” hillbilly heroin – because that is a commonly used slang term to define the drug we’re talking about. It’s used because of the popularity of the drug amongst rural white males. I didn’t coin the term, and I won’t be the last to use it.

    The idea that I used that term because I’m a ‘Patriots hater’ looking to discredit the team is patently ridiculous. If that was the case, I certainly wouldn’t have spent the last several years building this web site.

    I happen to ‘know’ Midd from another web site and he’s not a Patriots hater either. He’s a fan like everyboy else, and his question is entirely legitimate in my mind.

    So save the “you guys are just haters” bullshit for somewhere else. If any ‘haters’ decide to show up here simply to stir shit, I’m the guy that runs them out. I’m intent on making this site a place where Pats fans can interact without trolls ruining it. So you don’t have to worry about that.

    It’s possible that good fans can simply be a little disgusted when an established three-year veteran is hooking up with a fan to illegally buy the very same drug that has commonly led to crime, even violent crime, in rural areas like mine. It’s possible that good fans can get a little disgusted to find one of the team’s players on the front page of the Globe as a federal informant. I don’t see that as just one of those things that happens in every NFL city. A few blunts in the pocket – yeah, okay. Regular street buys of a dangerously addictive drug? No.

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