San Diego

Man Sentenced for Role in Violent Gambling Organization Run by USC Football Player

"He went down like a bag of potatoes," stated Rissell, describing his attack on the victim

A man was sentenced Monday for his role as an enforcer in a violent gambling organization run by a former University of Southern California (USC) football player.

Jack Rissell, 51, was convicted of extortion and sentenced to 24 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. A USC football player, Owen Hanson, was in charge of the organization.

After pleading guilty to Hobbs Act extortion on Dec. 15, Rissell admitted he was hired by Hanson to travel from California to collect a gambling debt from the victim in Minneapolis. Rissel would be paid a "contact fee," which is a premium or bonus for assaulting the victim, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Once Rissell found the victim at his apartment, he struck his face and demanded he repay the gambling debt owed to Hanson.

U.S. Attorneys said the victim's son was present in the apartment, during the violent confrontation. 

Later, Rissell described the attack in an email to Hanson, stating "he went down like a bag of potatoes."

Judge Hayes said the premium payment was "cold blooded" and called Rissell's behavior with Hanson "egregious conduct" that terrorized the victim, said U.S. Attorneys.

Out of 22 defendants charged for their involvement in the gambling organization, 21 have pleaded guilty in court. 

Hanson was first indicted and arrested on Sept. 9 in 2015, after he arranged the delivery of five kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of methamphetamine, according to the U.S Attorney's office.

A joint investigation by the FBI's office based in San Diego and the Australian Police Force lead law enforcement to discover the criminal organization.

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