Former Ontario Hockey League tough guy Sean McMorrow is facing serious drug trafficking charges and has had a warrant for his arrest issued after being indicted by a jury in western New York state.
McMorrow, who played 176 games with six OHL teams from 1999-2002, is accused of bringing 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from Canada with the intent to distribute it. The Western District of New York grand jury indictment alleges that McMorrow was involved in trafficking from 2003-05.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Harvey says an investigation into McMorrow's alleged activities began in 2005 and an indictment was filed last week.
"We have a warrant for his arrest and the next step is extracting him from overseas for drug conspiracy," Harvey said in a report on RocNow.com. "We don't have any timetable on when a case would begin because we have to locate him first."
McMorrow, an eighth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2000 who played in one NHL game during the 2002-03 season, is currently playing with the Belfast Giants of the British Elite Hockey League. In 55 games with the Giants, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Vancouver native has two goals, five assists and 368 penalty minutes.
"Belfast Giants treats any allegation against its players with the utmost seriousness," a team spokesman said. "We are aware that an indictment has been served on Sean McMorrow by a U.S. grand jury last week. We are not aware of any allegations against Sean McMorrow during his time as a player for Belfast Giants in Northern Ireland. Sean McMorrow has requested to be released from his playing duties with Belfast Giants in order to travel back to North America and deal with these allegations in a personal capacity. He will be flying home to Canada shortly."
McMorrow signed with the Giants in May after one season with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL.
After starting his OHL career with the Sarnia Sting in 1999, McMorrow moved on to the Kitchener Rangers, Mississauga IceDogs, Kingston Frontenacs, London Knights and Oshawa Generals. He had six goals and eight assists while racking up 443 minutes in penalties.
McMorrow played four seasons with the AHL's Rochester Americans, earning the team's Man of the Year Award for community service in 2003 and '04.
"We do not have a court date to appear and all I have is the information on the indictment," McMorrow's lawyer, Lawrence Kasperek told RocNow.com. "He will plead not guilty as soon as we appear in court. We will challenge all the charges. This man has been a good Samaritan during his life and we are surprised by the allegations."