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Man pleads guilty in Kansas drug distribution ring

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- A 33-year-old Overland Park man pleaded guilty to helping to distribute nearly $17 million in marijuana and cocaine in Kansas.

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that 33-year-old Samuel Villeareal III pleaded guilty to one drug conspiracy count.

After his arrest last June, federal prosecutors suggested that Villeareal sold marijuana to some University of Kansas basketball players. The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/XnlyDX ) that neither the prosecutor nor Villeareal mentioned anything about Kansas sports during Wednesday's hearing.

Villeareal was one of 44 people indicted last year with conspiring to distribute the drugs over four years in Johnson and Douglas counties. Prosecutors say the ring brought in drugs from Mexico, Canada, and northern California.

Villeareal faces at a minimum of 10 years in prison and a possible $10 million fine.