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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Enforcer for Violent Gambling Organization Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Benjamin Katz (619) 546-9604, Andrew Young (619) 546-7981 and Mark W. Pletcher (619) 546-9714

 

SAN DIEGO – Jack Rissell was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for his role as an enforcer in the gambling organization run by former USC football player Owen Hanson.

Rissell entered a guilty plea to Hobbs Act extortion on December 15, 2016. According to the plea agreement, Owen Hanson hired to travel from California to Minnesota to collect a gambling debt from an individual living in Minneapolis. The agreement between and Hanson included a “contact fee” – a premium or bonus for assaulting the victim. Once located the victim at his Minneapolis apartment, he carried out this assault by striking the victim in the face and demanding that the victim repay the gambling debt he owed to Hanson. During the confrontation, the victim’s son was present in the apartment. In a subsequent email to Hanson, described the attack saying, “he went down like a bag of potatoes.”

Before sentencing Rissell to 24 months imprisonment, Judge Hayes described the premium payment as “cold blooded” and called Rissell’s involvement with Hanson as “egregious conduct” that left the victim in terror.

In total, 21 of 22 defendants charged in relation to Hanson’s enterprise have entered guilty pleas. The remaining defendant, Khalid Petras, is set for trial on August 29, 2017. He is accused of money laundering and running an illegal gambling business. The charges against this defendant are merely accusations, and he is considered innocent until proven guilty.

The case arose out of a joint investigation by FBI and the New South Wales (Australia) Police Force in conjunction with the New South Wales Crime Commission. Hanson was initially indicted and arrested on September 9, 2015, after arranging the delivery of five kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of methamphetamine.

DEFENDANT                           Case Number: 15CR2310-WQH

Jack Rissell                                 Age: 51

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Hobbs Act Extortion, 18 U.S.C. § 1951

Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, 3 years’ supervised release.

AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation – San Diego Field Office

Internal Revenue Service – San Diego

Australian Crime Commission

New South Wales Police Force

New South Wales Crime Commission

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
CAS17-0731-Rissell
Updated August 3, 2017