Derek Loville, a former NFL running back, was arrested for his involvement in an international drug trafficking, sports gambling, and money laundering ring. The Super Bowl winner was charged in a far-reaching indictment that included former University of Southern California football player Owen “O-Dog” Hanson and Giovanni “Tank” Brandolino.
In a related Inquisitr report, four members of the TCU football team were charged with dealing drugs on the university’s campus.
Fox News reports that the federal indictment charges Derek Loville, 47, with selling drugs in Arizona for the extensive narcotics operation with connections in Mexico, the U.S., and Australia. The group’s ringleader, Owen Hanson, was picked up by federal agents as he was playing golf at a luxury country club in California on September 9.
Of the 22 people named in the indictment, all but one are in custody, including 41-year-old Giovanni Brandolino, who was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, late last year. The 22-page indictment handed down on Wednesday in San Diego, California U.S. District Court charges them with racketeering, conspiracy, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and money laundering.
Hanson’s complex operation, known as ODOG Enterprise, distributed illegal drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy in the United States and abroad in wholesale and retail quantities. Yet, drugs were only part of it.
The last remaining defendant, Kenny Hilinski, is currently hiding in Peru. Federal authorities say he was in charge of gambling operations that took bets on college, NFL football, and MLB games. Hilinski created several websites, including betodog.com, that coordinated the payments and distribution of proceeds for bettors.
Daniel Portley-Hanks, a Los Angeles private investigator, was hired by Hanson to track down any delinquent debtors and authorize threats. The operation used “terrifying scare tactics” to make debtors comply with their demands.
An informant, known only as Robin Hood 702, decided to go to the FBI when O-Dog and his associates threatened his spouse and family with bodily harm.
A package with pictures of his wife and other information on family members was sent to his residence. An email was also sent with the subject line “Operation Shovel,” which included an altered photo of a blood-splashed gravestone with the family’s name, insinuating they were to die.
Finally, crime group members sent a violent and explicit DVD of two masked men beheading two other helpless men with a chainsaw and a butcher knife. Included in the package was a note reading, “If you don’t pay us our money, this will happen to you.”
“A family member opened the DVD thinking it was a video of her sister’s newborn baby,” he said. “Then she watched it and freaked out. She had nightmares for years.”
According to a Los Angeles Times report, prosecutors say Giovanni “Tank” Brandolino sent five grams of cocaine and 15 ecstasy pills to a professional football player in Tennessee around November 2014. Months later, an undercover agent obtained five kilograms of cocaine from the group.
Accountant Luke Fairfield of San Diego is also named in the indictment. He set up shell corporations to help launder money for Hanson as well as instructed members on how to structure bank transactions that would avoid suspicion from law enforcement.
Russell S. Babcock and Ryan T. Mardock, attorneys representing Hanson, denounce the indictment.
“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.”
During an investigation of a similar South American-based organization, Macho Sports Enterprise, Hansen’s crime ring was uncovered. In June 2013, 19 people involved with Macho sports were charged with racketeering conspiracy and illegal gambling.
The crimes committed by the Hanson’s group go back to June 2011. That year, federal investigators began to suspect O-Dog’s involvement after the discovery of a suitcase filled with $700,000 in Australian currency at a Sydney hotel.
Allegedly the money was for an investment in a weight-loss company. Later, however, the story was changed to say the cash was from a Lenny Kravitz tour being paid to Hanson by a concert promoter for an outstanding debt.
On Thursday morning, authorities arrested 19 defendants in different states, including two-time Super Bowl winner Derek Loville. During his eight-year career, the former running back played for the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Denver Broncos.
[Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images]