A doctor operating a weight-loss clinic in Sandy Springs and a Westminster Schools graduate who later played in the NFL have been indicted along with two others for illegally distributing prescription drugs, including opioids.
Victor A. Hanson, M.D., a Brookhaven resident who ran the clinic, and Sedrick Hodge, the former NFL player, along with Farrah Hodge and Marcus McConnell, were charged in the scheme.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court, Hanson is a licensed physician who operated the clinic. However, he also allegedly prescribed large quantities of controlled substances, including opioids like oxycodone, and stimulants. Hanson accepted only cash or checks as payment.
Hanson allegedly prescribed these controlled substances irrespective of any legitimate medical purpose, outside the usual course of professional practice, and in inappropriate amounts and dosage combinations. He prescribed these drugs to individuals without conducting thorough medical examinations or — at times — any examinations at all.
Hodge and the other co-defendants — Farrah Hodge and Marcus McConnell — obtained prescriptions for controlled substances from Hanson. Hanson also gave Sedrick Hodge prescriptions written to third parties, including McConnell, when those third parties were not present.
In turn, Hodge allegedly sold oxycodone pills on the street for cash. On two separate occasions in October and November 2018, Sedrick Hodge sold oxycodone pills to a confidential source working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Cartersville.
“Hanson allegedly issued numerous illegitimate prescriptions for drugs, including powerful opioid painkillers,” Pak said in a news release. “While Hanson prescribed these drugs without a legitimate medical purpose, Sedrick Hodge and other associates allegedly sold these drugs in communities like Cartersville.”
The four suspects were indicted Sept. 3 and charged with conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.
Hanson, 86, is also charged with maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing controlled substances, 14 individual counts of illegal drug distribution for specific prescriptions, including several written to undercover federal officers and a money laundering conspiracy.
Sedrick Hodge, 40, of Cartersville, is also charged with six individual counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, one count of distribution of controlled substances and a money-laundering conspiracy.
Farrah Hodge, 42, of Cartersville, is also charged with a money laundering conspiracy.
McConnell, 35, of Adairsville, is also charged with three individual counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, the Jonesboro Police Department and the Sandy Springs Police Department.
This case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Operation SCOPE (Strategically Combatting Opioids through Prosecution and Enforcement), an initiative that targets individuals who illegally prescribe opioids and drug traffickers who also distribute these dangerous and addictive drugs.