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Ex-NFL player, wife and ‘unscrupulous’ doctor accused of running pill mill

2019-09-11

It sounds like he was trying to keep that baller lifestyle.

Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Sedrick Hodge, who left the NFL more than a decade ago, was recently caught selling oxycodone pills on the streets and is now one of four people facing charges under a new federal indictment, authorities announced on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Georgia said Atlanta-area doctor Victor Hanson illegally prescribed numerous prescription drugs, including opioids and stimulants, to Hodge, Hodge’s wife and at least one other man as part of a brazen pill mill operation.

The former football player then sold some of the drugs for cash, with two of those transactions last year involving a confidential source who was working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to a news release.

Hodge, 40, attended Westminster and the University of North Carolina before playing five seasons for the Saints — from 2001 to 2005. He now lives in the Atlanta suburb of Cartersville with his wife, 42-year-old Farrah Hodge.

Authorities said their 86-year-old doctor issued the illegitimate prescriptions out of a weight-loss clinic he runs in the city of Sandy Springs, and he would only accept cash or checks as payment.

“Dr. Hanson violated the law and betrayed the responsibilities of his profession," DEA agent Robert Murphy said in a statement, adding that authorities are committed to stopping “unscrupulous medical professionals” like him.

Hanson, who lives in Brookhaven, insists he has done nothing wrong and that the Hodges are his patients and friends.

“I am absolutely innocent,” he told local station WSB-TV. “What’s wrong with relieving pain so somebody can go about their daily activity?”

The indictment, which was filed last week, accuses Hanson of prescribing controlled substances “irrespective of any legitimate medical purpose” and “in inappropriate amounts and dosage combinations.” Prosecutors said he sometimes did so without even conducting any examinations at all.

Authorities said Hanson also gave the former athlete prescriptions written to third parties, including accused co-conspirator Marcus McConnell, a 35-year-old Adairsville, Ga., resident.

Sedrick Hodge was charged distribution of controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and money laundering conspiracy. His wife was charged with money laundering conspiracy and McConnell was charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

The charges against the doctor include maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing controlled substances and illegal drug distribution for specific prescriptions, including several written to undercover federal officers.