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Former USC football player Owen Hanson pleads guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy

January 11, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Former USC football player Owen Hanson pleads guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy

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Former USC football player Owen Hanson pleaded guilty to heading an international drug trafficking and illegal gambling network in San Diego Federal Court.

Hanson entered his guilty plea on Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin.

As a result, Owen Hanson now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for distributing hundreds of kilos of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and steroids.

Additionally, the judge could extend the sentence to life in prison and ordered the forfeiture of $20 million in personal property, along with another $5 million in cash.

According to the federal indictment, Hanson led at least five co-conspirators in a retail-and-wholesale drug operation based in the U.S. and Australia.

One of Hanson’s dealers also supplied performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, the New York Post reported.

Hanson started off his criminal enterprise operating an overseas illegal sports gambling ring that saw him develop a reputation for quickly and aggressively collecting outstanding debts by sometimes using violence as a tactic.

In the early 2000s, Hanson allegedly jumped at an opportunity to smuggle cocaine from his hometown in Los Angeles, where a kilo cost $20,000, to Australia, where the drug fetches around $150,000 per kilogram.

Court papers indicate that Owen Hanson became the target of an investigation by Australian authorities after employing RJ Cipriani, also known as Robin Hood 702, a professional gambler, to help launder $2.5 million in illicit cash through local casinos.

However, Cipriani had his life and that of his wife’s threatened by Hanson after he gambled the money away and returned to the United States empty-handed.

Cipriani immediately went to the FBI, which would eventually result in Hanson’s Sept. 2015 arrest at a San Diego golf course as part of a sweeping federal indictment against 19 co-conspirators.

“My family and I are elated that such a dangerous criminal has been put away in jail for a long time, Let it be known that those who meddle in the horrible business of drug peddling do so at their peril,” Cipriani told the Post.

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