A Minneapolis attorney for former Bucs kicker Donald Igwebuike met in Tampa on Friday with attorneys for two Nigerians facing federal drug charges. Ricky Williams, Tampa attorney for Olu M. Ibekwe, said Friday he met with Herbert Igbanugo, a Minneapolis attorney representing Igwebuike, as well as with two Orlando criminal defense lawyers Igwebuike has retained as Florida counsel.
Published reports have linked Igwebuike, now of the Minnesota Vikings, to a heroin smuggling ring. U.S. Attorney Robert Genzman and U.S. Customs Special Agent in Charge Bonni Tischler declined comment Friday about the reports.
Williams, who has been representing Ibekwe since his federal indictment in Tampa last week, said he has reviewed some materials provided by the U.S. Attorney's office in response to his requests. The materials do not absolutely show a link between his client and Igwebuike, Williams said, but do not rule the link out either.
"I'll be discussing the case in detail with my client and his family over the weekend," Williams said. He acknowledged that becoming a cooperating witness for government prosecutors is one option.
Williams said Igbanugo is also Nigerian and is from the same town as Igwebuike.
Williams' client, Ibekwe, was arrested at the Orlando International Airport two weeks ago after arriving from Amsterdam. U.S. Customs officials say Ibekwe had swallowed several heroin pellets wrapped in electrical tape and was trying to smuggle them into the country in his stomach.
Another man, Ibezim Ofedu, was arrested in Tampa Oct. 14 after accepting 400 grams of heroin from an undercover U.S. Customs agent. The indictment charges Ofedu and Ibekwe, and others, conspired to distribute heroin.