Former USC Football Walk-On Charged With Running International Drug Smuggling Ring

Illustration for article titled Former USC Football Walk-On Charged With Running International Drug Smuggling Ring

Owen Hanson, who was a volleyball player and walk-on tight end at USC a decade ago, ran a massive international drug smuggling ring, federal authorities claimed in an indictment unsealed Thursday. Hanson was one of 22 people charged with a slew of offenses, including racketeering, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Former Seahawks, 49ers, and Broncos running back Derek Loville is alleged to have been one of Hanson’s drug distributors.


According to the indictment, Hanson ran ODog Enterprise, which distributed hundreds of pounds of drugs (mostly cocaine) in the United States and Australia, operated a sophisticated illegal gambling business that included a website, set up numerous shell companies to launder the profits from these illegal activities, and was known for using violence to compel delinquent drug and gambling customers to pay up.

Included in the long list of crimes Hanson and his associates allegedly committed over the past five years is this particularly interesting nugget:

On or about November 17, 2014, Giovanni Brandolino, acting at Owen Hanson’s direction, sent 5 grams of cocaine and 15 capsules of ecstasy from Orange, California to a professional football player who was then located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hanson was arrested in Southern California in September. In an email to the Los Angeles Times, Hanson’s lawyers strenuously maintained his innocence:

“The specific allegations against Mr. Hanson are both surprising and spurious. 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.”

You can read the full indictment below.

Photo via Getty


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