An Atlanta-area doctor and three Bartow County residents have been indicted in federal court on charges of illegal distribution of opioids and other drugs following a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigation.

According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia in Rome:

Dr. Victor Hanson allegedly issued numerous illegitimate prescriptions for opioid painkillers such as oxycodone that were then sold on the streets by former professional football player Sedrick Hodge and two other people.

Hanson, 86, of Brookhaven; Sedrick Hodge, 40, and Farrah Hodge, 42, both of Cartersville; and Marcus McConnell, 35, of Adairsville, are each charged with conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

“Americans rely on healthcare providers, many of them medical doctors, to use their training to help patients and to ‘do no harm.’ Dr. Hanson violated the law and betrayed the responsibilities of his profession,” said Robert J. Murphy, special agent in charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, in a statement released by Pak Wednesday.

Hanson, who operated a weight loss clinic in Sandy Springs, reportedly prescribed opioids and stimulants for cash or check payments, often without conducting any medical examination.

Sedrick Hodge, Farrah Hodge and Marcus McConnell obtained prescriptions for controlled substances from Hanson — and Hanson also gave Sedrick Hodge prescriptions written to third parties.

On two occasions in October and November 2018, Sedrick Hodge sold oxycodone pills to a confidential source working with the DEA in Cartersville.

Hodge is a former NFL linebacker who played for the New Orleans Saints from 2001 to 2005. He was signed by the Miami Dolphins for 2006 but was cut before the season started.

Both the Hodges and Hanson are additionally charged with a money-laundering conspiracy.

The case is being investigated by the DEA with assistance from the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, the Jonesboro Police Department, and the Sandy Springs Police Department.

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