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New York Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard died of a toxic mix of alcohol and painkillers on May 13, 2011. / Matt Slocum, AP

A former minor league hockey player and former physician's assistant were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the 2011 overdose death of New York Rangers tough guy Derek Boogaard.

Jordan Hart is accused of providing the oxycodone on which Boogaard overdosed. The Rangers forward was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment on May 13, 2011.

Oscar Johnson was accused of providing medically unnecessary prescriptions to Hart without examining him. He worked at a company that had provided medical services to the ECHL Utah Grizzles when Hart played there.

"Jordan Hart then filled those prescriptions and sold the corresponding drugs to Derek Boogaard ... feeding Boogard's growing, debilitating addiction," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York. "Ultimately, that addiction, fueled at least in part by the drugs that Johnson illegally prescribed, and Hart peddled for cash, culminated in Boogaard's tragic overdose death."

Hart is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Johnson is charged with 26 counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute oxycodone (20 years each) and one count of making a false statement (five years).

Boogaard was in his first year with the Rangers when he died after spending the early part of his career with the Minnesota Wild.

According to the indictment, Boogaard asked Rangers teammates if they had a source for Percocet (which contains oxycodone) and one unidentified player put him in touch with Hart. Boogaard began purchasing the pills in November 2010, driving from Manhattan to Huntington, N.Y., where Hart had moved.

Boogaard suffered what ended up being a season-ending concussion in December. While attempting to come back in April, he "could barely stand up while skating and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance," the indictment said.

He was sent to a rehab facility in April. He was given permission to leave the facility in late April to fly to New York and pack up his belongings to move to Minneapolis for the summer. On April 29, the indictment says, Boogaard met with Hart in Huntington and spent $4,000 to purchase pills, which the player kept at his Minnesota apartment.

He returned to the facility and after being given permission to leave again, he flew to Minnesota, took one pill and died after a night of drinking at bars.

Both defendants faced preliminary hearings on Tuesday afternoon.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: 2 charged in 2011 overdose death of Derek Boogaard

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