Four people, including a metro Atlanta doctor and a former NFL player, are facing federal charges after authorities accused them of illegally distributing narcotics, authorities said.
Victor Hanson, Marcus McConnell, Sedrick Hodge and his wife Farrah Hodge are each accused of distributing and dispensing opioids for no legitimate medical purpose, according to U.S. Attorney BJay Pak.
Hodge, a Fayetteville native who attended Westminster and the University of North Carolina, is a former NFL linebacker who played for the New Orleans Saints. He now lives in Cartersville.
Hanson, who owns a weight-loss clinic in Sandy Springs, pleaded not guilty to a 24-count indictment alleging he prescribed the pain medication without conducting a thorough examination, according to a news release.
The indictment alleges Hanson, 86, of Brookhaven, prescribed “large quantities of controlled substances, including opioids like oxycodone, and stimulants,” Pak said. He only accepted cash or checks as payment, Pak said.
Prosecutors said Hanson wrote prescriptions for the Hodges and McConnell and gave Sedrick Hodge, 40, prescriptions written to third parties when those parties were not present. Pak said Hodge in turn sold oxycodone pills for cash.
Hanson told Channel 2 Action News that Hodge and McConnell are patients and his friends. He said he prescribed pain medication for Hodge and his wife.
“I do not operate a pill mill,” he said. “I see people. I practice medicine. I relieve pain.”
In addition to the opioid distribution charge, Hanson is charged with maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing a controlled substance, money laundering conspiracy and 14 counts of illegal drug distribution for specific prescriptions, including several written to undercover federal officers.
If Hanson were convicted, federal prosecutors would demand he forfeit his medical license, Channel 2 reported.
Sedrick Hodge also faces charges of distribution of controlled substances, money laundering conspiracy and six counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Farrah Hodge, 42, of Cartersville, is charged with money laundering conspiracy.
McConnell, 35, of Adairsville, faces three counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
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