The Massachusetts State Police served Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey with a grand jury subpoena less than an hour after the Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-17 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A source with knowledge of the matter told SI.com that the subpoena is related to the investigation into Aaron Hernandez, Pouncey's close friend and former teammate at the University of Florida. The source indicated that police are focusing in on Hernandez's potential involvement in interstate gun trafficking, which is being investigated by several agencies in multiple states -- at least Massachusetts, New York and Florida.
The extent of Pouncey's potential involvement is undetermined, but police are focusing on multiple transactions that involve him and Hernandez. "Organizationally, we do not have a comment," said Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene. "And Mike Pouncey does not have a comment."
A grand jury subpoena does not mean Pouncey, 24, has been or will be charged with a crime. Rather, law enforcement officials regard him as a material witness who could advance their case against Hernandez. Dolphins officials indicated Pouncey would be traveling back home with the team Sunday night.
After the game, two members of the Massachusetts State Police in dark suits approached Pouncey in the hallway between the Dolphins locker room and the team bus and handed him a piece of white paper. "It's about a grand jury investigation," one official could be heard telling Pouncey. The same police official later said, "Make sure you arrive."
Pouncey appeared confused when handed the paperwork by police and said, "What's this about?" Soon Dolphins officials were scrambling around the concourse looking for answers.
Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi was in the vicinity at the time and asked one of the officers if they'd spoken to Dolphins director of security Stu Weinstein. A uniformed Massachusetts State Police officer held out his right arm and attempted to shield Rizzi from hearing the conversation between Pouncey and police officials.
Rizzi later said with a perplexed look on his face, "Pouncey just got served papers."
Dawn Aponte, the Dolphins executive vice president of football administration, could be seen reading the subpoena outside the team locker room. A uniformed Massachusetts State Policeman declined comment, directing any inquiries to Weinstein.
"You need to talk to Jeff Ireland or Joe Philbin," Weinstein said, referring to the Dolphins general manager and coach. Ireland and Dolphins senior vice president of operations, Bill Galante, also declined comment.
A Patriots official said owner Robert Kraft was not made aware that Massachusetts State Police would be issuing the subpoena to Pouncey. In the minutes after the game, there were five uniformed Massachusetts State Police officers and two in suits loitering about 30 yards from the Dolphins locker room and speaking with NFL Security officials.