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Ryan Leaf, ex-NFL QB, sentenced for drugs, burglary

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was sentenced to nine months of lockdown addiction treatment followed by time in a prerelease center after pleading guilty last month to breaking into a house and illegally possessing painkillers.

District Judge Kenneth Neill of Great Falls sentenced Leaf on Tuesday to seven years with the Department of Corrections, with two years suspended. Neill recommended that Leaf's sentence start with treatment at a program in Lewistown, followed by time in a prerelease center.

Leaf's attorney said he expects the 36-year-old Leaf to spend six months in the pre-release center if he successfully completes the treatment. At that point, he could be eligible for monitored release.

Leaf told the judge he was humiliated and embarrassed for himself and his family and added that since his April arrest, jail "has been a sanctuary."

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"I have enjoyed my time in there more than my previous 15 years," Leaf said.

A prosecutor in Texas also is seeking to revoke Leaf's 10-year probationary sentence from a 2010 plea agreement for stealing prescription pain medicine.

The prosecutor, James Farren of Randall County, Texas, said he hoped to file a formal request for extradition Wednesday. Farren said his understanding with Montana authorities is that Leaf would agree to waive extradition and would return to Texas soon to allow a judge there to decide what to do about Leaf's probation violation.

In his statement Tuesday, Leaf said the prison time would be "bliss" for friends, family and everyone else tired of hearing about his drama.

The former quarterback dismissed his attorney's assertion that NFL injuries are to blame for his problems, saying he has simply been "lazy and dishonest."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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