Person Of Interest In Williams Case Now In Federal Custody

Friday, July 6th 2007, 7:45 pm
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ A man police consider a person of interest in the fatal shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback and former Oklahoma State standout Darrent Williams appeared in federal court on drug charges Friday.

Willie Clark, 25, was arrested Thursday and turned over to federal authorities after completion of his state sentence on a parole violation.

He has been in custody since Jan. 5, days after Williams, 24, was shot in the neck and two other people were wounded as they were riding away from a New Year's Eve party at a Denver nightclub in a stretch Hummer limousine.

An arrest affidavit released Friday alleges Clark worked for a gang-linked drug organization run by Brian Hicks, the registered owner of the sport utility vehicle that authorities believe was used in the Williams' slaying.

Hicks was in jail awaiting trial on attempted murder charges when Williams was killed.

Police have said they hoped Clark could provide information to help find Williams' killer but haven't released any details about why. Spokesman John White said Friday that Denver police aren't involved in the federal drug case against Clark.

Clark, who appeared without a lawyer, was advised he was facing charges of distribution and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

He was returned to the custody of U.S. marshals and was due in court again on Wednesday for a detention hearing.

Clark's former attorney, the late Michael Andre, previously said Clark has no information about the shooting.

Clark was sentenced in February to 180 days in prison after authorities said Clark had been living in a different house than the one listed in his parole agreement. He was paroled last July after serving a prison sentence for a 2002 vehicle theft and assault.

According to the affidavit, investigators believe Hicks is the leader of a subset of the Rolling 30s Crip gang which has engaged in large-scale cocaine and crack trafficking, gun trafficking, drive-by shootings and home invasions. They allege the gang, investigated between August 2005 and June 2007 by the Metro Gang Task Force, is linked to about 11 unsolved slayings.

In April, 72 people linked to the gang were arrested on federal drug and gun charges.

Clark, nicknamed ``Little Let'', was an up-and-coming member of Hick's drug operation, allegedly living in and running a drug operation in a Denver duplex, the affidavit said.

After Clark was arrested soon after the Williams' slaying, Hicks allegedly called a woman from the Denver jail and said he was worried Clark might feel abandoned and ``say something stupid''. Investigators believe Hicks was concerned Clark might reveal information to police about the drug operation.

According to the affidavit, Hicks asked the woman to send another woman named Jessica to see Clark in jail.