Brother of former NFL player enters plea agreement

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2014 4:58 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — The brother of a former NFL player has agreed under a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment against him and receive a 14-year prison sentence.

Court documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne show Michael Fabini, the younger brother of former New York Jets offensive lineman Jason Fabini, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from drug trafficking.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other charges he faced as part of the deal. The plea deal states that Fabini can withdraw his plea if a judge doesn't approve the deal. No date has been set for Fabini to appear before a judge.

The plea deal also called for Fabini to forfeit $5 million, his home in Fort Wayne, undisclosed amounts of money he has in a brokerage account and college savings plans, a wine collection and other personal property.

The plea deal also calls for him to testify at any hearing in which he is called as a witness.

The Journal Gazette reports Fabini's co-defendant, Marshall Butler, pleaded guilty on Oct. 9 to knowingly maintaining drug-involved premises. Butler ran one of the stash houses for the marijuana wholesale distribution ring run by Fabini.

Court documents tied them to Matthew McChesney, now serving 27 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a gun charge and a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Geller told the court during Butler's guilty plea hearing that Fabini and McChesney's drug trafficking conspiracy had gone on for years, bringing high-quality marijuana from California to Fort Wayne, repackaging it for distribution and selling it.

The marijuana was transported in a truck bearing signage for "Complete Lawn Care," a phony company purportedly operated by Fabini as a front.