Former Professional Football Player Sentenced to Probation for Using a Telephone to Facilitate Drug Trafficking

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Arrested person hands closeup, prisoner talking to lawyer during interrogation

         CONCORD – Jeffrey Paul Hatch, 42, of Savannah, Georgia, formerly of Manchester, was sentenced to three years of probation for using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking, United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, federal, state and local law enforcement officers conducted an investigation in 2017 of fentanyl traffickers, including an individual in Lawrence, Massachusetts who provided quantities of fentanyl to a Manchester-based fentanyl trafficker.  Couriers assisted the Manchester-based trafficker by transporting drugs and money.  On July 25, 2017, Hatch used his cellular telephone to arrange to pick up fentanyl from the Massachusetts-based trafficker on behalf of the Manchester-based trafficker.  

            From 2002 to 2005, Hatch played in the National Football League for the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.     

            Hatch previously pleaded guilty on August 1, 2019.  In addition to his probationary sentence, Hatch was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.  

            “Fentanyl is a deadly drug that has been responsible for hundreds of overdose deaths and has damaged countless individuals and their families in New Hampshire,” said U.S. Attorney Farley.  “As this case demonstrates, people from all walks of life can end up participating in the illegal drug trade.  As a result of his illegal conduct, this professional athlete is now a convicted felon.  I hope that his experience serves as a lesson to young people about the dangers of fentanyl and the consequences of drug trafficking.”

            “Homeland Security Investigations is proud to work closely with our law enforcement partners to uncover and disrupt trafficking networks that bring fentanyl and other deadly drugs into New England,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston Field Office. 

            This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Portsmouth Police Department, New Hampshire State Police, and Manchester Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Cole Davis and Seth R. Aframe.