NEW YORK – A former minor league hockey player accused of selling prescription painkillers to an ex-hockey player who died of an accidental overdose pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanour drug charge.
Jordan Hart, 33, of Huntington, New York, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court to possessing oxycodone. He was arrested in September 2014, accused of selling illegally obtained prescription painkillers to former hockey player Derek Boogaard. Boogaard, who played for the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild, died in 2011.
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There was no mention of Boogaard when Hart admitted obtaining prescription painkillers illegally in late 2010 and early 2011.
He said he was prescribed the painkillers after suffering a severe shoulder injury in 2009 while playing hockey.
“I became an addict,” Hart said.
He said the prescription pills eventually were not enough so he bought drugs containing oxycodone in late 2010 and early 2011.
“Your honour, I did know that it was against the law to accept these drugs,” Hart told U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.
At the time of Hart’s arrest, prosecutors said Hart sold at least some of the nearly 3,000 Percocet pills he obtained to the Rangers enforcer, who regularly travelled to Hart’s Huntington home to buy pills.
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Known as “The Boogeyman,” Boogaard was one of the most feared fighters in hockey. The 6-foot-7-inch, 265-pound forward waited out 589 penalty minutes in 277 career games. After leaving the Wild for a four-year deal with the Rangers, he scored one goal in 22 games before his season ended with a concussion five months before his death.
After his plea, Hart shook the hands of prosecutors and was friendly with those taking his picture as he left the courthouse.
Sentencing was set for Oct. 6.
Hart’s lawyer, Nelson Boxer, declined comment outside court.