Former NBA player Nate Driggers nabbed on gun charge

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Two men were killed in a West Side shooting Friday afternoon.

Sun-Times file

Former NBA player Nate Driggers has been charged by the feds with illegally possessing a firearm, and a prosecutor told a judge Thursday he could soon be drawn into a larger case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez ordered Driggers, 41, held in custody after Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Parente called Driggers a danger to the community because he might have access to 29 stolen firearms.

Driggers is accused in a criminal complaint of purchasing 30 firearms stolen April 12 from a cargo shipment parked in a Chicago rail yard. A cooperating defendant in that case called Driggers a known “fence” who paid $8,000 for the stolen guns. The feds say they found one of the firearms stolen from the rail yard when they executed a search warrant Sept. 10 at the store where Driggers allegedly purchased the guns.

Parente said Driggers could face new charges in the coming weeks.

William P. Murphy, Driggers’ defense attorney, told the judge that Driggers showed up to court when asked and has denied having access to the weapons. He said Driggers has been charged because he wouldn’t cooperate with investigators.

“They were defining what cooperation was,” Murphy said. “And they didn’t want the truth.”

Valdez said she was ultimately troubled by the 29 missing weapons.

“I have no idea where they are,” Valdez said.

Driggers, a Corliss High School standout, played 15 games for the Boston Celtics in the 1996-97 season. He was found guilty in August 2009 of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a trademark involving the sale of counterfeit gym shoes. He received a fine and 12 months conditional release, records show. His federal complaint also indicates he received a four-year prison sentence for a drug charge in November 2001.

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