BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis reported to federal prison camp in Florida on Friday to serve a four-month sentence for using a
cell phone to try to set up a coc aine deal, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman said.
Dan Dunne, the prisons spokesman, said Lewis reported to Federal Prison Camp, Pensacola on Saufley Field at about 11:40 a.m.
"It's a facility where inmates are required to work, and it provides auxiliary work force for the military there," Dunne said. "The chief job for the
inmates is grounds maintenance work."
The minimum-security facility holds up to 536 inmates, who live in three dormitories with double bunk beds. Many inmates in the facility are drug
offenders. The prison is surrounded by perimeter security.
"They're required to be in their housing units at a certain time," Dunne said. "It's a very structured environment."
Each housing unit has a room where inmates can gather to watch television, Dunne said.
Don Samuel, Lewis' attorney in Atlanta, said he asked federal authorities to assign Lewis to an Alabama prison, but the request was denied because one
of the defendants convicted in the same drug investigation is there and because of crowding at that facility.
Lewis was sentenced last month in Atlanta. He had pleaded guilty to trying to set up the drug deal 4½ years ago, a few months after the Ravens chose
him as the fifth overall pick in the 2000 draft. No drugs ever exchanged hands.
After he entered his guilty plea, the NFL suspended him for two games and he lost $761,000 in wages.
The penalty was worked out in October as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors agreed to drop more serious drug conspiracy and attempted
coc aine possession charges. After his prison term, Lewis will spend two months in a halfway house and perform 500 hours of community service.
Lewis should be able to return to the Ravens well before the start of the 2005 season. At most, he could miss the opening of training camp.
If he had been convicted of the conspiracy charge, the former star at Tennessee could have faced at least 10 years in prison, although he likely would
have received a shorter sentence under federal guidelines.
Lewis won the NFL rushing title in 2003, amassing 2,066 yards -- the second-highest total in NFL history.