STILLWATER — Former OSU basketball coach Sean Sutton was arrested on a drug complaint Thursday, state drug enforcement authorities said.
Sutton told drug agents that he is addicted to painkillers, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward said.
OBN detained Sutton, 41, about 5 p.m. Thursday after the former coach picked up a shipment of painkillers from out of state from a local shipping company, Woodward said.
Drug agents had intercepted the shipment following a tip that Sutton had been illegally buying painkillers from sellers in Seattle and the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
Payne County District Attorney Robert Hudson said he is going to file four felony counts against Sutton for the drugs he attempted to obtain and for using his cell phone to commit a felony
Sutton remains in the Stillwater city jail, where he has become ill, Hudson said.
"He's having withdrawals," Hudson said.
Sutton is expected to post $10,000 bond today and then enter a treatment facility where he'll remain until he is arraigned, Hudson said. Sutton's arraignment is expected to be Tuesday.
Drug agents have been in touch with Sutton since August 2009, when agents received a tip that that Sutton was visiting multiple state doctors to illegally obtain painkillers.
After being confronted by OBN agents in August, Sutton apparently entered a rehabilitation program for his painkiller addiction, Woodward said. No charges were filed at the time. Woodward said the state doctors involved didn't act illegally by prescribing Sutton painkillers because the doctors weren't aware Sutton was seeing other doctors to obtain more pills.
Sutton stayed in contact with drug agents after finishing his rehab program.
"He seemed to be doing a lot better," Woodward said.
But agents lost touch with Sutton last month.
"About the same time, we started receiving information from sources that Sutton was receiving packages from out of state with painkillers," Woodward said.
The shipment OBN agents intercepted yesterday contained about 40 pills. Woodward said shipping company officials indicated Sutton has been picking up similar shipments weekly for the past year.
The pills included Adderall, clonazepam, a generic painkiller and a fourth unidentified pill. Agents interviewed Sutton for about six hours before arresting him and taking him to jail, Woodward said.
Authorities from Washington and New York are now assisting with the investigation and Woodward said more arrests are possible.
Sutton is the son of legendary Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton, who the younger Sutton replaced in 2006 when his father retired after lapsing back into an alcohol addiction problem that plagued his coaching career.
Sean Sutton was fired in 2008 following two unsuccessful seasons as OSU's basketball coach.
He hasn't returned to coaching.
OSU issued the following statement: "We are saddened by this news and our thoughts are with Sean and his family."