Owen Hanson, Convicted Drug Kingpin & Subject Of Mark Wahlberg Produced Amazon Docuseries, Released From Federal Prison

EXCLUSIVE: Former USC football-turned convicted global drug kingpin, Owen Hanson, has been released early from a federal prison term of 21 years, and is on his way to transitional housing in Long Beach, CA, Deadline has learned per his attorney Mark F. Adams. Hanson is the subject of an Amazon Sports docuseries that’s being produced by Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas, which Deadline first told you about. Hanson’s release, which becomes official in June 26, 2025, should make for great fodder for this docuseries directed by Jody McVeigh-Schultz, and produced by Adam Ridley, Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Archie Gips’ Unrealistic Ideas.

Hanson was sentenced in late 2017 after being in arrested in September 2015. He’s served slightly less than seven years in a federal prison located in Englewood, CO.

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Hanson’s drug-dealing career boomed from selling recreational drugs and steroids to teammates in college during the early aughts to an empire that spanned U.S., Central and South America and Australia. Hanson was ordered to pay a $5M criminal forfeiture, which included $100K in gold coins, luxury vehicles, jewelry, vacation homes, a sailboat and interests in several businesses. The FBI worked with the New South Wales Police Force in Australia to arrest Hanson and uncovered an illegal sports-gambling, money-laundering and drug-trafficking enterprise of thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics that led to Hanson. More than 21 of his associates also were arrested.

Crucial in Hanson’s arrest was Philly high-stakes gambler-turned-FBI source R.J. Cipriani aka Robin Hood 702. Hanson gave the gambler $2.5 million in a laundering scheme, which ended with Robin Hood 702 losing the money on purpose in blackjack. Hanson then made death threats to Cipriani. This entailed sending photos of the gambler’s deceased mother’s defaced headstone, and sending execution videos to Cipriani and his family members.

Commenting on the news of Hanson’s release today, Cipriani exclaimed, “In order for Mr. Hanson to assimilate back into society, and to help him get back on his feet, I’m offering a beautiful one-bedroom apartment for six months, all expenses paid at Park Place Apartments in Irvine, CA. This is so that Mr. Hanson is close to his family. From the last person that he’d ever expect to help in life, I wanted to be that person. I wanted to ‘Pray It Up’ as Mark Wahlberg has suggested. ”

Cipriani is currently executive producing a scripted series about his involvement in the Hanson arrest, Jackpot, at Sony Pictures Television with Nicholas Stoller and his Stoller Global Solutions partner Conor Welch, as well as Jamie Canniffe, EPing.

Unrealistic Ideas just came back from SXSW with their HBO documentary, MoviePass, MovieCrash, directed by Muta’Ali.

R.J. Cipriani is represented by UTA.

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