Javaris Crittenton’s life that once was full of so much promise continues to fall apart in a spectacular and shocking fashion for those who know the former Atlanta high school and Georgia Tech basketball star. The latest development finds Crittenton arrested at his suburban Atlanta home Wednesday as part of a drug sting operation.
A former first-round NBA draft selection of the Los Angeles Lakers, Crittenton and 13 others were named in the indictment that was initially the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, a source close to the investigation told ESPN.
According to that source, Crittenton, 26, conspired to deal cocaine and marijuana in the months before he was indicted last year for his alleged role in an August 2011 Atlanta shooting death of a young mother.
Shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, DEA agents, federal marshals and local police descended on Crittenton’s home in Fayetteville, a suburb just south of Atlanta. Crittenton was led away in handcuffs and booked into the Fulton County Jail.
That is the latest drama in Crittenton’s apparently crumbling life. He was banned for a year in the NBA when he brought a gun into the Washington Wizards locker room, an indiscretion that stunned friends and family. It also essentially ended his undistinguished NBA career. And it got worse.
In April 2013, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Crittenton and his cousin, Douglas Gamble, for murder in the death of Julian Jones, 22, a mother of four children. That 12-count indictment also accused Crittenton and Gamble of participating in a criminal street gang and linked both to a second shooting in Atlanta that occurred five days before Jones’ death.
According to court documents, both of the August 2011 shootings were in retaliation for a robbery committed against Crittenton and his cousin. On April 13, 2011, Crittenton and Gamble were held up at gunpoint by two men outside a southwest Atlanta barbershop and robbed of more than $55,000 worth of personal items and jewelry, according to a police report of the incident.
In the drug case, according to the district attorney’s office, “Crittenton and the other suspects are accused of selling multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and several hundred pounds of marijuana” during a seven-month investigation dating to June 2012. He will have an initial court appearance Thursday morning on those charges; he had been on limited house arrest as he awaited trial for murder.
At Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Crittenton teamed with NBA star Dwight Howard to win the 2004 state championship. Crittenton led his team to a second state title in 2006 without Howard.
Howard’s uncle, Paul Howard, the Fulton County district attorney, said he knew Crittenton to be upstanding.
“This was a kid with a lot of promise,” Howard said. “As I look back, I’d have to say it was a lot of pain involved having to take some action because of those facts.”