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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Stewart receives 4-year federal sentence

Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A former star running back for the Miami Hurricanes was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for distributing cocaine through a drug ring and possessing thousands of dollars in counterfeit bills.

James Stewart, who played one season for the Minnesota Vikings, was sentenced to four years and four months Monday.

In June, the 31-year-old Stewart pleaded guilty to federal charges he supplied cocaine for sellers in a local drug network, at one time getting about $23,000 to buy 2.2 pounds of cocaine for the organization, according to an August indictment.

An undercover agent bought a single crack rock in May 2001 and connected it to Stewart and 13 others using court-ordered wiretaps.

Stewart was indicted on the counterfeit currency charge in April 2002 after officers found four bundles of counterfeit bills totaling $11,000 in his car during a routine traffic stop.

Stewart led Miami in rushing in 1993, running for 604 yards and five touchdowns.

The Vikings drafted him in the fifth round in 1995 and he played one season, gaining 144 yards on 31 carries. He was released after breaking a leg.