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Judge orders Darren Sharper to face federal charges in NOLA

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge has ordered that former NFL star Darren Sharper be transferred to New Orleans by Feb. 23 to face narcotics charges related to drugging women with the intent to sexually assault them, reports CBS affiliate WWLTV.

Sharper, 39, is currently being held without bond in Los Angeles on similar charges. He is also accused of drugging and raping women in Tempe, Ariz.

WWLTV reports that the federal indictment charges Sharper along with former St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brandon Licciardi, who is also charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

At Licciardi's detention hearing last month, an FBI agent testified about texts between Sharper and Licciardi regarding would-be victims. The agent referred to a text message from Licciardi to Sharper which read, "She's ready."

Another text from Sharper to Licciardi read, "She's on the potion," reports the station.

According to WWLTV, FBI agent Robert Blythe, who is heading up the case, also testified about getting information regarding a party in Las Vegas attended by Licciardi in which unnamed NFL players prepared a concoction called "horny juice" - champagne mixed with narcotics - to give to women in order to take advantage of them.

In addition to the federal charges, Sharper has also been charged by the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office with simple rape from August 2013, and two counts of aggravated rape from a Sept. 23, 2013 incident in which two women complained of being drugged and raped at a party at a condo Sharper was using.

WWLTV reports that charges of aggravated rape carry a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.

The station's legal analyst says that Sharper's federal case will likely be put on the "fast track."

"The case in Federal Court appears to be a very straightforward one from an evidentiary standpoint," said Donald "Chick" Foret. "The basis of the case is distribution of narcotics, which is a much easier case to prove than aggravated rape."

Sharper spent 14 years in the NFL as a safety and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. He played for the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings and then the New Orleans Saints, where he was part of the team's Super Bowl championship team in 2009.

Sharper was fired as a TV analyst with NFL Network when the serial rape charges began surfacing in January 2014.

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