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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Many Threads Revealed at Drug Ring Hearing

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Of 20 suspects charged in connection to an international drug-smuggling ring, the former college football star accused of leading it alone remains in custody after a hearing before a federal judge Monday.

Owen Hanson, a former volleyball and football player at the University of Southern California, was arrested in September and charged with on narcotics distribution, racketeering, illegal gambling and money laundering.

Arrest warrants for the other defendants accused of involvement in Hanson's alleged ring were issued on Jan. 13. One is a fugitive.

U.S. District Judge William Hayes considered setting dates for conferences and deadlines to give defendants' attorneys time to collect and pore over the large volume of discovery materials, including hard drives, digital devices and a "wide gamut of different sources of evidence," according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Young.

The government expects to collect at least a terabyte - 1 trillion bytes - of digital evidence, Young said.

Judge Hayes suggested to the roomful of attorneys that a motion be filed to declare the case complex, to manage it and move it through the court.

Hanson's alleged organization, called ODOG Enterprise, included a complex web of shell companies to launder profits from drugs and gambling, according to the 22-page indictment unsealed on Jan. 27.

Former NFL player Derek Loville, who played San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, is one of the defendants.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that Hanson's ring strong-armed clients into settling gambling debts through intimidation, threats and violence, including sending DVD videos of unknown people being beheaded to debtors.

One defendant is accused of mailing 5 grams of cocaine and 15 capsules of ecstasy from Orange, Calif. to a professional football player in Nashville.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 23.

Hayes set the trial date for Oct. 25.

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