SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A former San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos running back is among 22 people indicted in federal court in San Diego on charges of participating in an international drug trafficking and sports betting ring.
Derek Loville, 47, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was arrested in Arizona on Wednesday.
The arrest came three days before Saturday’s start of Superbowl festivities in San Francisco for the Feb. 7 contest between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Loville is accused in a superseding indictment issued under seal by a federal grand jury in San Diego on Jan. 12 of one count of conspiring in a racketeering enterprise and one count of conspiring in narcotics trafficking.
The indictment was unsealed after the arrests of Loville and 18 other defendants Wednesday in California, Arizona, Louisiana and Virginia.
The alleged leader of the group, former University of Southern California football and volleyball player Owen Hanson, 33, and one other defendant were already in custody.
The remaining defendant, Kenny Hilinski, who allegedly ran the gambling operations of the enterprise from Peru, is a fugitive, prosecutors said.
Loville played for the 49ers in the 1993 through 1996 seasons and for the Denver Broncos in 1997 through 1999. He was on those teams during one Super Bowl win by the 49ers and two by the Broncos.
Before joining the 49ers, Loville played for the Seattle Seahawks in 1990 and 1991. As a teenager, he served on the Archbishop Riordan High School team in San Francisco.
Loville made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Phoenix after his arrest. He was freed on his own recognizance and agreed to be transferred to the jurisdiction of the federal court in San Diego to face the charges, according to court records.
The 22-defendant superseding indictment replaces a Sept. 3 indictment that named just two defendants, Hanson and Rufus Rhone, 33, on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine. Rhone pleaded guilty on Jan. 19 to a revised charge of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, according to federal prosecutors in San Diego.
The alleged racketeering enterprise was dubbed the O-Dog Enterprise in the superseding indictment, named after Hanson’s nickname, O-Dog.
In the racketeering count, Loville, Hanson and five others are accused of conspiring in a criminal enterprise that included both drug trafficking and illegal gambling.
Loville is specifically alleged to have sold drugs and collected payments from customers throughout the nation as part of that enterprise.
In the narcotics conspiracy count, Loville, Hanson and defendant Giovanni Brandolini are accused of plotting to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and MDMA, also known as “ecstasy.”
The two counts each carry a maximum possible sentence of life in prison upon conviction.