One of the agents for fullback Ina Liaina, a street free agent signed by the Green Bay Packers this offseason, was arrested in the San Francisco area on Wednesday for conspiracy in a murder-for-hire; gun, weapons and drug trafficking; and selling fraudulent credit cards.
According to multiple media outlets, via ProFootballTalk.com, agent Marlon Sullivan was one of 26 people arrested Wednesday in an FBI operation that also netted a California state senator and a mobster who had supposedly gone straight. According to a KCBS radio report:
“FBI agents say Sullivan was right in the middle of a number of illegal activities in this case. They say he cranked out counterfeit credit cards (using software bought from Russian criminals with Bitcoin virtual currency), ran major amounts of illicit pot from California to other parts of the country, and readily agreed to a murder-for-hire plot proposed by an undercover agent.”
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the sting netted arrests and search warrants in the San Francisco area, New York, Boston and Atlanta.
“Most of the other defendants are alleged to be involved in operations that included cultivating and selling marijuana, making cocaine deals, and selling stolen liquor and contraband cigarettes, which bankrolled the broader conspiracies alleged by federal authorities,” the Mercury News reported.
“Among them are a dentist who moonlighted as an international arms dealer and a sports agent who helped facilitate a murder-for-hire scheme, according to a federal criminal complaint.”
According to SF Weekly, Sullivan and two associates with ties to California state senator Leland Yee are “accused of selling ‘various types of firearms’ and ‘two ballistic vests’ to an undercover agent.
“Both (associates) and Sullivan purportedly agreed to carry out a murder-for-hire plot at the behest of the (FBI) agent and participate in a cocaine purchase from the (FBI) agent's so-called ‘drug connection on the East Coast.’ The (FBI) agent also claims Sullivan provided him with ‘multiple fraudulent credit cards.’”
The San Francisco Chronicle details the affidavit, describes it as “reading like an action thriller.” The charges include the state senator selling undercover FBI agents access to lawmakers and gun traffickers in return for campaign contributions.
The Packers signed Liaina as a street free agent in late January to compete for what likely will be one roster spot for a fullback. He played in college at San Jose State and spent part of last offseason with the Miami Dolphins, though he never made the roster.
Sullivan works for The Novo Agency, which is run by longtime NFL agent Jeff Sperbeck. But Sullivan shares representation of Liaina with Angelo Wright, who is principal agent for another agency, SportWest.
Neither Sperbeck nor Wright was charged or implicated in any way. Novo clients include San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James, Oakland Raiders guard Mike Brisiel and Buffalo Bills quarterback Dennis Dixon.
Along with Liaina, Sullivan represents 49ers receiver Brandon Carswell and several unsigned free agents, plus a rising boxer from the San Francisco area, Karim Mayfield, who on Saturday will fight in a welterweight title bout that HBO will televise from Atlantic City, N.J.
Sullivan, 29, also this offseason briefly advised Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL draft prospect who could become the first openly gay player in the NFL.