Home / Sports / Former Hoops Pro James 'Fly' Williams Arrested and Accused of Running $20 Million Heroin Ring

Former Hoops Pro James 'Fly' Williams Arrested and Accused of Running $20 Million Heroin Ring

A former professional hoops star and New York City street-ball legend just got taken down in a major way.

The New York Daily News is reporting that James “Fly” Williams, 64, was arrested and accused of running a Brooklyn heroin ring worth up to $20 million.

The newspaper added that his operation sold two million vials of heroin across Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Brownsville, Fort Greene, Flatbush and Bushwick.

Williams, who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets during the first round of the 1974 ABA Draft, is accused of being the kingpin of “Operation Flying High,” as charted by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office below.

Williams is facing 10 felony charges and was one of 13 people arrested in connection to the drug ring.

“These defendants had no consideration of the harm suffered by so many from the dangerous narcotics they allegedly peddled,” acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told the Daily News. “They just cared about making money, exploiting addicts and the heroin epidemic that is spreading throughout our communities with devastating results.”

As part of the arrests, police seized two kilos of heroin and $180,000 in cash.

The Daily News notes that many of the drug transactions occurred near the Brownsville Recreation Center, where Williams formerly balled and mentored kids as a volunteer years later.

In fact, before Williams’s arrest, the Brooklyn Nets’ website ironically credited him for mentoring “children to stay away from drugs and gangs.” 

Williams had been in prison from 1993-95 for drug possession, flip-flopping from recovery and further substance abuse leading up to this arrest.

He played against the likes of Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Len Elmore over the course of his career.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

(Photo: The Denver Post via Getty Images)


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