Former New England Patriots wide receiver Reche Caldwell recounted his criminal past in an interview with ESPN’s David Fleming, published on ESPN.com on Thursday.
Following his six seasons in the NFL, during which he was one of Tom Brady’s top targets in 2006, Caldwell opened a gambling ring in Florida that was located near an elementary school and bet on NFL games, among other things.
“I see now, yup, not the greatest location for that kind of thing,” Caldwell said. “Too big, too fast. I laugh at my stuff too. What else can you do? I have to laugh. I really thought I was some kind of a criminal? All I know is, everyone kept telling me, ‘The police don’t care about this stuff, you’ll never get caught,’ and the next thing I know I’m headed to prison, saying goodbye to my kids, wondering: ‘What happened to me?’”
Caldwell, now 37, was eventually caught by undercover police officers and detained. He was later arrested for ordering nearly five pounds of drugs on the internet. He is currently serving a 27-month prison sentence.
In his NFL tenure, Caldwell accumulated 152 catches for 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns.