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Originally published June 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 18, 2009 at 1:06 AM

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Ex-Cougars star Ryan Leaf arrested trying to enter U.S. in Blaine

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf posted a $45,000 bond Wednesday for drug and burglary charges out of Texas after being arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States from Canada at the Peace Arch in Blaine.

BELLINGHAM — Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf posted a $45,000 bond Wednesday for drug and burglary charges out of Texas after being arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States from Canada at the Peace Arch in Blaine.

James Farren, the district attorney in Randall County in West Texas, said Leaf was arrested by federal customs agents. Legal assistant Jennifer Bonstein said the former Washington State star declined to waive extradition during a hearing.

Wendy Jones, chief corrections deputy for the Whatcom County Jail, confirmed that Leaf posted bond Wednesday evening.

Leaf's attorney in Washington told the court Leaf would post the bond and return to Texas by himself. Leaf also was to come back to court in Whatcom County on July 16, Bonstein said.

Bill Kelly, Leaf's attorney in Texas, said his client was returning to Texas to turn himself in by today's deadline.

The former San Diego Chargers quarterback is charged with burglary to a habitation, a second-degree felony. Leaf also was indicted on seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance.

Leaf coached quarterbacks at West Texas A&M in Canyon, where the indictment was returned in May.

Leaf, who resigned from West Texas A&M after being investigated for drug crimes in November, was working in British Columbia, his attorney said. Kelly said Leaf "has been to rehab and successfully completed it."

Leaf, who coached for three seasons at West Texas A&M, spent four seasons in the NFL after being chosen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 draft by the Chargers.

In his NFL career, which included stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys, Leaf had 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He was better known for outbursts directed at teammates, coaches, fans and reporters.

Washington State fans know Leaf as the quarterback who helped end the school's 67-year Rose Bowl drought by guiding the Cougars to a 1998 matchup against Michigan.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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