George Thomas Kurney, father of Julius Peppers, was arrested on Wednesday.
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George Thomas Kurney, father of Julius Peppers, was arrested on Wednesday.

Father of NFL star Julius Peppers arrested on drug charges

By Jim Holt

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WILSON — A Nash County Sheriff’s deputy who is the father of NFL star Julius Peppers was arrested Wednesday in Wilson and charged with felony possession of cocaine.

George Thomas Kurney, 50, of Bailey since has been relieved of his duties. He and Donald Earl Bullock, 46, of Sims were arrested following a joint investigation by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and Tarboro and Wilson police departments. Kurney held the rank of chief bailiff and has worked in the sheriff’s office for approximately 10 years, said Nash County sheriff’s Capt. Pat Joyner. Joyner confirmed Kurney is the father of Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. Peppers, formerly a football standout at Southern Nash High School, played defensive end at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.   Peppers was the second overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft, signing with the Carolina Panthers. He played eight seasons in Carolina before signing with the Bears. Both Kurney and Bullock were issued a $1,000 secured bond and jailed in Wilson County. Jennifer Canada of the State Bureau of Investigation declined to comment on the specifics of the arrest. Wilson Police Department Narcotics Detective Ernie Powers said the State Bureau of Investigation called him and told him to pick up Kurney and Bullock and bring them to jail, but Powers declined to comment on specifics.