A Staten Island, N.Y., high school football star who became a coach at his alma mater was caught selling heroin to an undercover cop.
According to the New York Daily News, Diego Oquendo, 32, was busted Thursday during an undercover buy in Rossville, about three miles from Tottenville High School. Oquendo was once a football star at Tottenville and recently worked there as an assistant coach.
Per the Daily News, police busted Oquendo with Terry Kinnicut, 38. A third suspect, Danielle Messerschmidt, 22, was arrested following a search of Kinnicut’s home. More heroin, as well as equipment to weigh and package the drugs, were found in the home.
A judge ordered Oquendo held on $10,000 bail Friday. His attorney, William Leykam, said that the one-time football phenom was only connected to the cash, not the drugs.
Oquendo graduated Tottenville in 2004, helping the football team to a perfect 12-0 record and PSA championship in 2003.
After high school, he attended Michigan State and played cornerback for the Spartans. He also played for Augustana College (Ill.) and got a master’s degree in education.
Officials told the Daily News he’s now back at Tottenville as an assistant coach. A spokesman told the Daily News that the Department of Education fired Oquendo once they learned of his arrest. Oquendo had been a DOE employee since 2015.
“This alleged behavior is extremely troubling and we’ve taken immediate steps to terminate Mr. Oquendo’s employment,” DOE spokesman Michael Aciman told the Daily News.