A former USC walk-on tight end’s massive, international drug operation was so sophisticated it used an enforcer who obtained the personal information of gamblers to track them down and use intimidation to collect debts, according to the federal government’s case.
Owen Hanson, the former tight end, and a former NFL running back Derek Loville are among 22 people who have been charged in what authorities are calling a massive international drug smuggling ring not afraid to use threats and coercion to get what it wanted.
Authorities have alleged that Hanson ran the massive conspiracy, and also allege Loville — who played for three teams in an eight-season career — was one of Hanson’s distributors. The massive, complex operation has connections in Peru, Mexico and Australia, authorities said.
Led by Owen Hanson, who was a USC athlete more than a decade ago, the “ODOG” operations used violence and threatened customers into paying off debts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. Hanson, who went by “O-Dog,” was arrested in September at a golf course in Carlsbad.
The conspiracy was so wide ranging it included money launderers, an enforcer, bookies, and drug traffickers. For example, WPLG, the ABC affiliate in Miami, reported on a number of activities in various locations across the globe, including in Peru:
Authorities believe Owen Hanson delegated a portion of the responsibility to operate the gambling network to Kenny Hilinksi, an expatriate living in Peru. From Peru, Hilinski maintained various websites used by gamblers to place bets, coordinated the collection of payments from various bookies and gamblers, and directed the organization’s runners to distribute the proceeds through shell companies and cash deliveries, according to investigators.
And this is an Arizona News report about Loville:
Authorities claim the operation has its tentacles in various gambling operations and threatened gamblers and their families if debts were not repaid. The operation laundered its money through various shell companies, authorities claim.
Hanson’s lawyer told the LA Times he client is innocent.