As first reported by Duke Castiglione, a sports reporter for New York’s Fox 5 news, the New York DEA has arrested Jordan Hart, the son of former Islanders defenseman Gerry Hart, and Oscar Johnson. Jordan Hart also played in the AHL and ECHL in the Islanders system, and Johnson is a physician’s assistant based out of Utah.
After suffering a severe concussion resulting in constant debilitating migraines, Derek Boogaard was put into contact with Jordan Hart by a fellow (unnamed) Wild teammate. According to the indictment against him, Hart began supplying Boogaard with prescription pain medication in 2010. Boogaard was admitted to a rehab facility in California in 2011, after attempting to return to practice with the New York Rangers under the influence of a controlled substance.
Boogaard was found dead on May 6th, 2011 after a confirmed overdose of Oxycodone and alcohol. His brother was initially arrested for giving Boogaard an Oxycodone pill before he went to bed the night before as well as concealing evidence (flushing the remaining supply) but those charges were later dropped.
Hart has been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Oscar Johnson, a medial staff memeber for the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies, is charged with 26 counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. He has also been charged with one count of making a false statement, for which the maximum sentence is 5 years.
There is no news as of yet as to how this will impact the lawsuit brought against the NHL by Derek Boogaard’s family in 2012. The suit claims that the unmonitored prescriptions for painkillers from both the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers contributed to his addiction. The suit also alleges that the drug treatment program Boogaard participated in failed to take any disciplinary action despite multiple failed drug tests and rule violations. It was found posthumously that Derek Boogaard had suffered from CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain condition Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, two NHL players who died of apparent suicides as a result in the same year of Boogaard’s death. The Boogaards say the league should have been more aware of the increased risks of concussions suffered by enforcers in the NHL.