A Huntington man has been accused of illegally selling prescription painkillers to Derek Boogaard, a 28-year-old ex-New York Rangers hockey player who fatally overdosed on pills and alcohol three years ago.
Jordan Hart pleaded not guilty Tuesday at Manhattan federal court after a grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.
The 31-year-old suspect “began selling the prescriptions he obtained from Oscar Johnson…to [Boogaard], who suffered from an addition to painkillers, including oxycodone, the controlled substance contained within Percoset,” according to the indictment.
Johnson, a physicians’ assistant who authorities said prescribed Hart with about 3,000 Percoset pills between 2009 and 2011 after Hart played for a minor league hockey team in Utah, was indicted on similar charges. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Hart, son of former New York Islanders player Gerry Hart, on Monday.
“There is a lot more to the case than what you read in the indictment,” Hart’s attorney, Robert LaRusso, told reporters outside the courtroom after Hart’s bail was set at $500,000, according to The New York Times.
The indictment alleges that Hart had prescriptions sent to him from Johnson, who authorities said had not examined Hart since 2009, and that Hart filled the prescriptions on Long Island before he began selling the pills to Boogaard in late 2010.
Boogaard often drove from Manhattan to Huntington to pick up the pills, which he once paid for with a check, according to the court documents. Boogaard checked into drug rehab in California in early April 2011, but later that month bought $4,000 worth of Percoset from Hart two weeks before the NHL player was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment on May 13, 2011, the indictment said.
Boogaard’s father, Len, who is suing the NHL for wrongful death, issued a statement thanking investigators for “every effort to hold accountable those that contributed to my son’s addiction and death.”