Federal charges add to Sharper's legal troubles

Federal charges add to Sharper's legal troubles
Erik Nunez
Erik Nunez
Former St. Bernard Parish Sgt. Brandon Licciardi
Former St. Bernard Parish Sgt. Brandon Licciardi

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In addition to a nine count indictment from the Orleans Parish Criminal Court, former Saints player Darren Sharper, along with a former St. Bernard Parish sergeant, was charged in a six-count federal indictment.

Sharper, 39, and former St. Bernard Parish Sgt. Brandon Licciardi, 29, were charged in a six-count federal indictment.

The two have been charged with conspiracy to distribute Alprazolam, Diazepam and Zolpidem with intent to commit rape and two counts of distributing these substances with intent to commit rape.

Locciardi was also charged with two counts of witness tampering and one count of impeding an investigation.

This federal indictment comes following a nine count indictment handed out by the Orleans Parish Criminal Court grand jury early Friday morning. Sharper was indicted on two counts of aggravated rape and one count of simple rape. Erik Nunez, Sharper's alleged accomplice, was originally picked up on an arrest warrant with Sharper back in February. He was also indicted on two counts of aggravated rape and one count of obstruction of justice.

In addition, Licciardi was indicted on three counts of human trafficking, one count of aggravated rape and aggravated battery. According to the indictment, on three separate occasions Licciardi allegedly provided another person to Sharper or Nunez through fraud or forced to provide sexual conduct.

Shortly after learning of his indictment, Licciardi resigned from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office through a letter. He had been re-assigned to non law enforcement administrative duties on June 19 after sheriffs learned of a pending investigation involving him.

Sharper was already in a California jail as the judge issued an arrest warrant for both Licciardi and Nunez on Friday. A judge set Sharper's bond at $2.5 million. Nunez also has a $2.5 million bond. Licciardi's bond was set at $2.9 million.

It was late February when the New Orleans Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Sharper and Nunez.

Both are accused of raping two women in Sharper's apartment across the street from the Renaissance Hotel in the Warehouse District. The rapes allegedly happened in September of 2013.

Licciardi is accused of bringing the women to Sharper and Nunez. Sources told FOX 8 back in June that Licciardi received a search warrant for his DNA.

According to court records, the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office subpoenaed all guest history records for Sharper at the Renaissance Hotel and also asked for key car information and security video that shows Sharper and Licciardi.

Nunez's attorney said he thinks his client is a "pawn in this whole matter."

Sharper has been locked up in a Los Angeles jail since late February, where he's already pleaded not guilty to rape and drug charges. Meanwhile, an Arizona grand jury indicted him for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting two women last November.

Sharper is also being investigated for similar charges in Nevada and Arizona. He is awaiting his next hearing in California. He is charged there with drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles County.

According to Louisiana law, a conviction for aggravated rape carries a mandatory life sentence.

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