Former USC walk-on Owen Hanson charged with running drug smuggling ring
Owen Hanson, a former walk-on football player at USC who played tight end for the Trojans in the early-2000s, is one of 22 people who have been charged with running a massive international drug smuggling and gambling ring.
In an indictment unsealed on Thursday, federal authorities claim Hanson and several others ran an operation they called ODog Enterprise, which involved international and domestic drug trafficking, gambling and money laundering. The business allegedly distributed hundreds of pounds of cocaine.
Former NFL running back Derek Loville is one of the people charged in the indictment as being a drug runner for Hanson and his people. The men have been accused of using threats of physical violence to collect debts. The Los Angeles Times has details from the indictment:
According to the indictment, Hanson and his associates threatened a customer’s spouse with bodily harm in an attempt to collect an alleged $2.5-million debt.
The threat included a delivered package containing photos of the customer’s spouse and a printout of biographical information on family members. The accused also sent an email titled “Operation Shovel,” which contained an altered photo of the customer’s family gravestone, implying that they would soon die.
Later, a DVD depicting a masked person beheading two men with a chainsaw and a knife, along with the message, “If you don’t pay us our money, this will happen to you” was sent to the customer, the indictment said.
Hanson’s lawyers denied the allegations in an email to the LA Times.
“The specific allegations against Mr. Hanson are both surprising and spurious,” attorneys Russell S. Babcock and Ryan T. Mardock wrote. “Mr. Hanson, a former USC football player, has never engaged in violent or intimidating conduct beyond the football field. Time will show that the many of the individuals who have made these allegations are criminals and their word not credible.”
Hanson also played volleyball at USC. The last story we had that involved drug smuggling was merely an NHL player trying to get his party on in Las Vegas. Hanson is facing a long time behind bars if convicted.
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports