Arrests made in connection to Boogaard's death
Minnesota Wild left wing Derek Boogaard (L) is separated by linesman Mark Pare as he makes his way to the penalty box during the second period against the Vancouver Canucks in St. Paul, Minnesota in this January 13, 2010 file photo. (REUTERS)
Two arrests have been made in connection with the death of former NHL tough guy Derek Boogaard.
Jordan Hart, a former minor-league hockey player and son of former New York Islanders defenceman Gerry Hart, and Oscar Johnson, a physician’s assistant in Utah, were taken into custody Tuesday morning.
A U.S. federal indictment alleges Hart supplied Boogaard with the prescription painkillers that contributed to his death.
Johnson is accused of writing monthly bogus Percocet prescriptions for Hart over a 26-month period totalling 2,920 pills.
The indictment alleges Johnson wrote prescriptions in Utah and mailed them to Hart in New York, where they were filled. Some of the pills acquired by Hart were sold to Boogaard.
Boogaard, a former Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers enforcer, was found dead in his brother’s Minneapolis apartment May 13, 2011 after an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone. He was 28 years old.
Percocet contains oxycodone and acetaminophen.
The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Saskatoon native had allegedly become addicted to Ambien and painkillers while playing for the Wild from 2005-10.
According to the indictment, Hart began selling pills to Boogaard in November 2010 after the two connected through an unnamed Rangers teammate.
Boogaard played his last NHL game as a Ranger Dec. 9, 2010, during which he suffered a concussion while fighting Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators.
While recovering, Boogaard spent much of his time in his Manhattan apartment self-medicating with Ambien and Percocet, according to the indictment. He was later placed under the care of the NHL’s substance abuse program and admitted to a California rehab clinic in April 2011.
Boogaard was allowed to leave the clinic later that month to collect his belongings in New York and spend the summer in Minneapolis. The indictment claims it was at this time he made one final purchase from Hart, drove to Minneapolis and left the pills with his brother before returning to the clinic.
About two weeks later, Boogaard was allowed to leave the clinic again to attend a family event. Boogaard allegedly asked his brother for one of the pills he had left him and ingested it before a night of heavy drinking that ended in his death.
Hart, 31, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, and faces 20 years in prison.
Johnson, 59, is charged with 26 counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of making a false statement, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Below is Fox News footage of Jordan Hart under arrest