Former Steelers Lineman Indicted on Arson, Fraud Charges

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Former NFL lineman Terry Long fraudulently secured loans for a chicken-processing plant that he eventually burned to the ground for insurance money, federal authorities said in an indictment unsealed Tuesday.

Long, a starting right guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1984 to 1991, turned himself in Tuesday.

According to the eight-count indictment, Long, 45, provided the state with false documents to get more than $1 million in business loans, and also false bid documents to obtain a $75,000 grant to buy food processing equipment.

Several months after running into stiff resistance from neighbors who opposed plans to open a chicken slaughterhouse in the basement of the processing plant, Long set fire to his Value Added Foods Group, destroying it on Sept. 25, 2003, according to the indictment.

The charges carry a maximum possible penalty of 55 years in prison and a fine of as much as $2 million.

Long was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. It was unclear if he had an attorney. An arraignment was scheduled for April 5.

The indictment follows a history of trouble for Long on and off the field.

He attempted suicide after being suspended in 1991 for violating the NFL's steroids policy. He later rejoined the team but was not re-signed after one season.

Long was charged, but acquitted, on charges of harassment and related motor vehicle violations after a 1996 run-in with police. Police said Long refused to take a breath test after he was pulled over. The district attorney's office dropped more serious charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest.