Owen “O-Dog” Hanson started his criminal career selling anabolic steroids and other drugs to his teammates on the University of Southern California team that won the 2004 NCAA National Football Championship. Over the next 10 years, Hanson became an international drug kingpin. Hanson’s story ended with a 21-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and racketeering charges.
Hanson started using steroids while he was in college as a reserve for the USC volleyball team. Hanson was on steroids when he later joined the USC football team as a non-scholarship player. Hanson told Vice Sports that he only used steroids during the summer when everyone knew the NCAA wasn’t testing for them.
Hanson received an invitation to try out for the Trojans football team after an assistant coach saw him bench 225 pounds for 25 reps in the weight room with some of his volleyball teammates. Hanson further impressed the coaches after he posted 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical jump.
Hanson joined Reggie Bush, Clay Matthews, Steve Smith, Matt Leinart and several other future NFL football players on Pete Carroll’s championship-winning football team. The walk-on player practiced and traveled with the team but never actually played a single down during the single season he was on the team. Hanson was nonetheless a very popular player because he sold steroids and recreational drugs to his USC teammates. Hanson gained a reputation around campus as the drug dealer who could provide you with anabolic steroids, cocaine and various other drugs.
Hanson maintained those football connections long after he left college. He partied with NFL players, he sold steroids to NFL players and he went into the drug business with NFL players. Andrew Young, an Assistant United States Attorney with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, claimed that Hanson admitted selling steroids and human growth hormone (hGH) to multiple NFL players.
AUSA Young didn’t name any of the NFL players who bought steroids and hGH from Hanson. However, Hanson has been publicly linked to a few professional athletes in the NFL and NBA. For example, Hanson was friends with former New York Giants and New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey. They partied together in Las Vegas and hung out together in Costa Rica. Hanson even introduced Shockey to a woman who later became his wife – and then ex-wife. But Shockey denied having any inkling that his friend was an international drug dealer.
“Was my buddy really living a double life?” Shockey told the Rolling Stone magazine. “I guess anything is possible, but I just can’t fathom it…
“The guy I knew was just a savvy businessman. Sure, he liked celebrities and hanging at clubs – free bottle service and free models and all that – but drugs? Maybe I’m just gullible, but I didn’t pick up on any of that.”
Jeremy Shockey wasn’t the only Super Bowl champion that Hanson hung out with. Hanson may have enjoyed partying with two-time Super Bowl champion Shockey but he recruited three-time Super Bowl champion running back Derek Loville to go into business with him. Loville was indicted as one of Hanson’s co-conspirators in ODOG Enterprises in January 2016.
While Hanson was arrested for steroid possession in 2010, it obviously wasn’t his steroid use or his selling of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to professional athletes that led to his downfall. Hanson had a much bigger criminal appetite and built ODOG Enterprises into a violent international drug trafficking, sports gambling and money laundering empire that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone around the world.
“The defendant oversaw a drug distribution network of more than five individuals that imported, exported and distributed throughout the United States, Australia and elsewhere hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, MDMA (ecstasy), metabolic steroids and human growth hormones, also known as HGH,” AUSA Young told US District Court Judge Mitchell Dembin.
Hanson was arrested at the Carlsbad’s Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club on September 9, 2015. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and drug trafficking conspiracy on January 11, 2017. Judge Dembin sentenced Hanson to 21 years and 3-months in prison and to the forfeiture of 45 million cash and all other property owned by Hanson on December 15, 2015.