Illegal Betting Ring Which Used Terror Tactics Is Busted after a Brave Citizen Comes Forward
An illegal gambling ring set up by a former USC Trojans football player is alleged to have used terror tactics against its victims. Some of the tactics used include mailed videos of beheadings, as well as photos of the desecration of the grave sites of victim’s deceased family members. The terror campaign only came to an end after one of the victims, known in the unsealed indictment as “Robin Hood 702”, spoke to authorities.
Twenty-two people have been charged in an alleged illegal sports bettin ring which was organized by a USC football and volleyball player. The ringleaders also are accused of organizing an international drug-smuggling operation. Arrests in the case were made in 4 U.S. states.
Arrests in Four States
Of those arrested, 19 were located in the California. Most were picked up in the Southern California region. State and local authorities in Sacramento, San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties took place. One arrest apiece also took place in Arizona, Louisiana, and Virginia.
The illegal gambling ring became public after a U.S. District Court in San Diego unsealed a 22-page indictment on Wednesday. Those arrested are being charged with a variety of crimes ranging from illegal gambling, money laundering, drug trafficking, and racketeering conspiracy. The list of crimes are thought to have happened between June 2011 and January 2016.
The ringleader is alleged to have been Owen Hanson, who played football and volleyball for the USC Trojans more than 10 years ago. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego, the operation use threats and violence to convince gamblers to pay their gaming debts.
Owen Hanson, who sometimes goes by the nickname O-Dog, was arrested last September at a Carlsbad, California golf course. Because of his name, the criminal operations are being referred to as ODOG Enterprises. The police had one other man in custody since October 2015: 41-year old Giovanni “Tank” Brandolino. Giovanni Brandolino was arrested in Brooklyn.
Robin Hood 702 Testimony
Hanson and Brandolini are accused of running their criminal operation through fear and intimidation. A key witness who has been named “Robin Hood 702” claims ODOG Enterprises sent him a video of two helpless men being beheaded by a chainsaw and a butcher knife. Robin Hood 702 claimed the video was used as a means of intimidating him into laundering $20 million for the syndicate.
After the DVD was sent to his Santa Monica home, Robin Hood 702 claims a member of the family mistakenly watched the video. The witness, who is said to have ‘blown the lid off the case’, told the New York Post, “A family member opened the DVD thinking it was a video of her sister’s newborn baby. Then she watched it and freaked out. She had nightmares for years.”
Grave Desecration Photo
The terror campaign did not stop there. Owen Hanson dressed himself in a luchador mask, then spray-painted Robin Hood 702’s parents’ grave site in blood red. As he stood with a shovel over the graves, a second party took a photo. This was sent to the Robin Hood 702 as a warning and a threat.
Robin Hood 702 said the photo was sent to him, which finally convinced the man he had to go to authorities. The witness told the NY Post, “When they desecrated my mother and father’s grave site, I knew I had to put these guys in jail for a long time.”
Pete Gleason, who serves as the attorney for Robin Hood 720, said his client is a “throwback to the golden era in this country when people weren’t afraid to speak their mind and do what’s right and just.”
Instead of cave to the intimidation tactics, the threatened man went to the authorities. They began to investigate, leading to 24 arrests to date.
Accountant Luke Fairfield Indicted
One of the men indicted was 39-year old San Diego area accountant, Luke Fairfield, who set up the fictitious shell corporations for Odog Operations. Fairfield is also accused of showing the other members of the criminal enterprise how to launder money through the shell corporations. Owen Hanson is the one who is thought to have controlled those accounts.
Derek Loville Involved
One other member of the operation has football ties. The indictment accuses former NFL player Derek Loville of distibuting drugs for the ODOG ring. The 47-year old Derek Loville played in the NFL between 1990 and 1998. He played for three NFL teams in that time: the Seattle Seahawks (1990-91), the San Francisco 49ers (1994-96), and the Denver Broncos (1997-98).
Derek Loville was a significant player in an era when the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl. Loville was on the 1994-95 Niners team which won the franchise’s 5th Super Bowl. The Niners defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship that year, making it the only year in a 4-year span the Cowboys did not win the Super Bowl. The next year, 1995, Derek Loville led the 49ers with over 700 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.
Attorneys for Hanson, Brandolini, Fairfield, or Loville did not return media calls. It is unknown what the defense for those accused will be. Given that Hanson and Brandolini were arrested first, they might have provided information on the other 22 in the sealed indictment. The arrest of those two member earlier would indicate they were instrumental in the operation, or else they would not have been arrested before the others. Also, it is not known if accountants and drug runners for Odog Enterprises will claim they were intimidated into committing crimes.
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