Former NFL Player Junior Siavii Found Dead in Prison as He Awaited Trial for Various Charges

Junior Siavii was awaiting trial for federal gun and drug trafficking charges before his death

Junior Siavii of the Seattle Seahawks poses for his NFL headshot
Photo: NFL via Getty

Junior Siavii, a former NFL player, has died in a Kansas prison as he awaited trial for federal gun and drug trafficking charges. He was 43.

On Thursday afternoon, around 2:30 p.m. local time, Siavii — aka Saousoalii Siavii — was found unresponsive in the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Anna Armijo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, told The Kansas City Star.

According to the outlet, Siavii was treated by prison staff before he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No other details surrounding the ex-football star's death were immediately made available. Armijo noted that staff and other inmates were not injured and "at no time was the public in danger."

A representative for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Junior Siavii #94 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during warm ups prior to the NFL season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field on September 12, 2010 in Seattle, Washington.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty

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Back in August 2019, Siavii was arrested on suspicion of illegal firearms possession during an altercation that occurred with police in Kansas, according to NBC Sports.

Not long after, a criminal indictment later named Siavii as being part of a methamphetamine drug trafficking conspiracy in Missouri. Siavii was charged alongside eight other co-defendants, the outlet said.

Siavii was transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, a medium-security prison, on Dec. 17, The Kansas City Star reported.

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Siavii was selected by The Chiefs in the second round of the NFL draft in 2004. The athlete played two seasons with the team before taking a break from the sport for two years due to knee injuries.

Siavii later went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, but was cut during preseason in 2010. He then played for the Seattle Seahawks before a spinal cord injury brought his football career to an end in 2011.

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