SAN DIEGO (AP) -Former Chargers safety Terrence Kiel was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation on a misdemeanor charge of shipping codeine-based cough syrup to Texas.
Kiel, who was dropped from the team in March, pleaded guilty in February to felony and misdemeanor drug charges under a plea bargain.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sontag dropped the felony charge because Kiel completed 175 hours of volunteer work and underwent counseling for gambling.
"It's baffling that you would take this chance and you would do this crime with so much at stake," Sontag told Kiel. "I think you've suffered for it."
Kiel was led off the practice field and arrested in the locker room by Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Sept. 26. The DEA said then that Kiel admitted to shipping at least two parcels of prescription cough syrup, apparently to be mixed with soft drinks to make a concoction known as "lean."
Kiel initially faced five counts. He pleaded guilty to felony transportation of a controlled substance - which was dismissed - and to a misdemeanor count of furnishing dangerous drugs without a license. Other charges were dropped.
Defense attorney Bob Grimes told the judge that Kiel was happy to put the matter behind and hopes to sign with another NFL team.
Kiel did not speak himself, but apologized to the court through his attorney.
Prosecutors believe Kiel got the cough syrup from Hope Devina Vines, a licensed pharmacy technician. Vines pleaded no contest to misdemeanor grand theft and was sentenced to three years probation, including the completion of an anti-theft course.
Chargers players have had a series of run-ins with law enforcement. Seven team members have been involved in nine incidents since April 2006, most recently the July arrest of 22-year-old rookie Anthony Waters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., who was charged with hitting a man who threw a rock at his car on a highway.