RENO - A star basketball player for the Reno Bighorns was in federal court Thursday after his alleged involvement in a New York drug-dealing gang.
29-year-old Damone Brown, a forward for the local D-league basketball team, was arrested in Reno Thursday morning on one count of money laundering.
After his arraignment, Brown was released and his passport taken away. Because he has no prior criminal history, it was determined he was not a flight risk. Brown's next appearance will be in a Buffalo court.
At least a dozen FBI agents served search warrants in an early morning home raid out of Buffalo, New York. One of the agents was shot. Buffalo police say a two-and-a-half-year investigation led them to the arrest of 31 members of a drug gang, involving illegal and violent crime.
Damone Brown was arrested here in Reno. The six-foot-nine forward preparing for a Bighorns game scheduled for Friday night. Police say his name came up dirty.
"Damone Brown is charged with one count of money laundering. he was involved in the use of a safety-deposit box to conceal approximately 170-thousand dollars in cash, which the indictment alleges was the proceeds of drug-dealing," said John Guerra with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo.
The team's assistant coach says this is the first time Brown's been in trouble with the law, and that the team wasn't aware of any drug activity.
Local sports fans enjoying lunch at the Little Waldorf on North Virginia say they're not surprised to see another sports star with a tainted reputation. One man told us his kids recently met Brown at their elementary school, and considered him a hero.
"They need to realize that when they start to be in the public eye, kids look up to them and they gotta start thinking about their actions more than just a normal person," said Blaine Beard of Sparks.
Reno Resident Tami Levine says she's taken her two boys to dozens of Bighorns games, and now has to explain to them why one of the players is missing.
"I'm going to be honest with them and tell them, he did something he knew was wrong and his career his over now," said Levine.
The Bighorn's assistant coach says the game scheduled for Friday night will go on, with or without Brown.