Billy Cannon, a Heisman Trophy winner at Louisiana State who had an outstanding career as a professional football player before becoming a successful dentist, has been arrested in Baton Rouge, La., on federal counterfeiting charges.
Cannon, a native of Baton Rouge, was arrested with two other men on a warrant issued by U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola. Cannon was released on his own recognizance after attempting to enter a guilty plea at his bond hearing. The judge gave him until next Friday to consider his course of action. Bond for the other two suspects was set at $2.5 million each.
They were charged in a Secret Service complaint with conspiring to possess and deal in counterfeit $100 bills. At the time Charles Whitfield and Timothy Melancon were arrested late Friday, federal and local enforcement officials seized more than $2 million in counterfeit currency, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The bogus bills were discovered during a search of a Baton Rouge business called Asian International Ltd.
Cannon was an all-America halfback and a winner of the Heisman Trophy at LSU in 1959. He then played with the Houston Oilers of the old American Football League. Cannon was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1964 and switched from halfback to tight end the following year. He was dropped by the Raiders during the 1970 exhibition season . . .
Dallas Cowboys Tony Dorsett, Harvey Martin, Larry Bethea and Ron Springs have volunteered to cooperate with federal authorities after their names were mentioned in a cocaine investigation, according to team President Tex Schramm.
"I have no indication that they are suspected of any illegalities," Schramm said. "We've been aware of this; it's not a new situation.
"I was told about it by our National Football League security people in New York, and that four players, through their attorneys, had talked to authorities on the basis of 'tell us what you want to know.' "
Cowboys Coach Tom Landry told the Dallas Morning News that he had talked with the players about allegations of drug use, but that "I don't know what was done as far as plea-bargaining." There had been reports that the players' attorneys had been negotiating, and perhaps plea-bargaining, with authorities.
"There was a Title III electronic surveillance authorized by a federal court, but to my knowledge the (four Dallas Cowboys) were not involved in it," U.S. Attorney James Rolfe of Dallas told the News.