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’80s Hoops Star Charged In Drug Ring

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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A one-time basketball pro and track and field champion, Johnny Fort was advertised as a ”premiere” trainer for the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Lincoln Park.

”Johnny Fort brings an energy to his class that is unmatched,” boasts a flier for Fort’s ”miracle workout” printed by the club. ”Johnny has known only an elite level of commitment and fitness.”

According to federal charges, however, it was a different story in the health club’s locker room. That’s where Fort, 45, allegedly arranged to buy 100 grams of heroin in a July 27 exchange that federal authorities say they have on an audio recording.

”Cannot go outside, it’s too dangerous,” Fort is overheard saying on a wiretap as he’s inside the Lakeshore club, according to charges. ”Come to the locker room.”

Fort, a relative of El Rukn founder Jeff Fort, was one of 55 people charged in September in a drug conspiracy.

The FBI earlier this year traced a call from inside the club and began surveilling the parking lot, according to court records. Fort was charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, including cutting deals in and around the fitness center.

On Monday, Fort unsuccessfully attempted to have the charges thrown out. Others in the ring were charged with operating a drug network from Indiana to Milwaukee. Fort has two previous federal drug convictions.

He played for Iowa and Virginia Tech. Fort’s bio states that he was drafted by the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets but went to Spain after an injury. NBA draft records do not show Fort being drafted.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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