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Saints likely facing significant civil penalties from federal Vicodin investigation

(Video courtesy of CBS Sports)

Federal authorities have continued to investigate the Saints for their misuse of their prescription painkiller supplies stemming from a lawsuit filed in 2010, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and that inquiry is not yet closed. The Drug Enforcement Agency launched a thorough investigation into the matter, and authorities have been working with the Saints to resolve the matter by attempting to reach a civil settlement.

The Saints were accused of mishandling their supply of prescription drugs, with supplies unaccounted for, and the 2010 lawsuit brought by former Saints security director and ex-FBI agent Geoffrey Santini charges that club officials worked to cover up the alleged theft of Vicodin from the team's drug chest. The subsequent DEA investigation did not focus on individuals, according to the source, but instead on the lack of organizational control and oversight, federal crimes which are considered serious infractions in the law enforcement community.

Normally in these situations the inquiry ends with a civil settlement that would include hefty signs in the range of six-figures or more, and the DEA believes that it has amassed strong evidence in its investigation and that significant penalties are in order. The NFL has not commented on the investigation to this point.

The Saints issued the following statement when asked for comment on this report: “This is an ongoing, highly confidential case. We have no comment.”


Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday during the season on The NFL Today.
 
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