Following a guilty plea, Jonathan Hefney has been sentenced to nine years behind the bars.
Hefney played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes during eight seasons in the CFL. He was named as a league all-star twice (2009 and 2011).
The News and Observer in South Carolina have the details of the case:
Hefney pleaded guilty after he was charged by York County drug agents in 2017 with three counts of trafficking drugs like cocaine.
Matthew Hogge, a 16th Circuit assistant Solicitor, said Hefney was arrested after York County drug agents made three controlled cocaine buys.
Hogge was quoted as saying, “This trafficking was of a substantial amount.”
Hefney had been recovering from a career-ending injury that ended his time in the CFL abruptly. In October of 2015, Hefney has carted off the field after a collision with the Ottawa Redblacks fullback Patrick Lavoie.
Hefney suffered from three fractured vertebrae and nerve damage that limited his use of his arm. According to Hefney, he suffered an injury to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that sends signals to your shoulder, arm, and hand.
Minor brachial plexus injuries are common in football and are known as stingers or burners while more severe cases can lead to paralysis and loss of function which is what happened to Hefney.
The team for whom Hefney played when he was hurt, the Montreal Alouettes, covered the cost of Hefney’s first surgery via insurance but their duties ended a year after the injury. Hefney used a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the procedures.
The photo of the aftermath of his most recent surgery is yet another stark reminder of what CFL players go through – often without the support from the teams or the league.
The 34-year-old Hefney had no prior criminal convictions.