BOSTON (Reuters) – A Miami Dolphins player on Sunday received a grand jury subpoena linked to an investigation into former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who has been accused of murdering an associate, Sports Illustrated reported.
Massachusetts State Police handed the legal papers to the player, center Mike Pouncey, at the Patriots’ stadium in Foxboro after the two teams faced each other on the field, the magazine reported on its website.
Sports Illustrated quoted an unidentified source as saying the grand jury was probing whether Hernandez was involved in interstate gun trafficking.
The report said that as Pouncey received the papers, a police official told the player: “It’s about a grand-jury investigation … Make sure you arrive.”
Hernandez and Pouncey are friends who both attended the University of Florida, Sports Illustrated said.
A Massachusetts State Police spokesman declined on Monday to comment on the report, referring questions to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office. A spokesman for the district attorney, who is handling the murder prosecution against Hernandez, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Hernandez has been charged with the June 17 killing of his friend Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player. He has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge and several charges of possessing illegal firearms in connection with the crime at an industrial park near his North Attleborough, Massachusetts home.
Hernandez was dropped by the Patriots the day he was arrested in June.
Grand juries are convened during criminal investigations to hear testimony from witnesses and to determine if formal criminal trials are warranted. Being called to testify before a grand jury panel is not an indication that the person is suspected of criminal activity.
Miami Dolphins officials, who declined to comment to Sports Illustrated, did not respond to a call seeking comment on Monday.