A former NFL player was found dead in prison as he awaited trial for federal gun and drug trafficking charges.
On Thursday afternoon (Jan. 13), Junior Siavii was found unresponsive at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. According to the Kansas City Star, the former Kansas City Chiefs player was treated by prison employees before he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased. No other details surrounding Siavii’s death have been made available. Anna Armijo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said that staff and other inmates were not hurt and “at no time was the public in danger.”
Last summer, Siavii was arrested on suspicion of illegal firearms possession during a struggle with police in Kansas. He was later named in a criminal indictment as part of a methamphetamine drug trafficking conspiracy in Missouri. He and eight other co-defendants were charged.
Siavii was selected by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft. He played with the team for two seasons before knee injuries pushed him out of football for two years. In 2009, he made a comeback with the Dallas Cowboys. However, the Cowboys cut Siavii out of the preseason in 2010. He later signed with the Seattle Seahawks, but a spinal cord injury ultimately ended his football career.
Siavii’s death comes just weeks after former NFL player Glenn Foster Jr. was found dead in police custody in Alabama, days after he was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest by “attempt to elude.”
Foster’s family hired medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, to conduct an autopsy of the former NFL star. Dr. Baden found that there was “evidence of neck compressions and strangulation” that contributed to his untimely death. Last month, attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents Foster’s family, said they are demanding “a full and transparent investigation into what happened to Glenn Foster Jr. and how he lost his life.”