AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Former NFL defensive tackle Junior Siavii died on Thursday at the age of 43 in Leavenworth federal prison in Kansas.
Anna Armijo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said in a statement (h/t Bill Lukitsch and Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star) that Siavii was found unresponsive and was treated by prison staff before being transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to Lukitsch and McDowell, Siavii has been held under federal detention orders since 2019. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Nov. 2019 on nine charges, including conspiracy and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Siavii was originally arrested in August 2019 and charged with three counts of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms, but the grand-jury indictment superseded that indictment.
No cause of death has been given at this point.
After playing two seasons at the University of Oregon, Siavii was a second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2004 NFL draft. He played two seasons with the team before injuries kept him out of the league for two years.
Siavii returned to the NFL in 2009 with the Dallas Cowboys. He appeared in all 16 games that season, recording 11 combined tackles. He was cut and claimed on waivers by the Seattle Seahawks before the 2010 season.
The American Samoa native started a career-high six games with the Seahawks in 2010. He recorded 56 combined tackles and one sack in 56 career NFL games with three teams.
Junior Siavii Found Dead in Kansas Prison; Played for Cowboys, Chiefs, Seahawks