Authorities in New York arrested a Long Island man today and charged him with supplying the painkillers that led to former Minnesota Wild player Derek Boogaard’s death in his Minneapolis apartment in May 2011.
UPDATE: We’ve posted a copy of the indictment below.
According to a New York television station, Jordan Hart, the son of New York Islanders legend Gerry Hart, was picked up today by the DEA. A Utah
physician physician’s assistant was also indicted and arrested for writing bogus Percocet prescriptions for Boogaard.
According to the indictment, he ingested substantial quantities of Percocet and Ambien during this time. The Ambien had been prescribed by the Rangers but not the Percocet.
Boogaard began asking teammates if they had a source for Percocet. According to the indictment, a teammate agreed to look for a source and asked Hart if he would supply Percocet to Boogaard.
Authorities say that he started to drive from Manhattan to Huntington, Long Island to purchase the pills from Hart in both cash and by check.
The indictment states that, in many instances, the prescription drugs came from prescriptions that had been written by Oscar Johnson and mailed from Utah.
In March 2011, Boogaard attempted to return to practice with the Rangers. At an early April practice, according to the indictment, Boogaard could barely stand up while skating and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. He was admitted to a substance abuse rehabilitation center in California.
Later that month he was given permission to leave the center so he could fly to New York to pick up his belongings and then drive to Minneapolis to spend the summer. Boogaard reportedly drove to Long Island to make one more purchase from Hart.
The indictment claims that Boogaard then drove to Minneapolis and left the pills with his brother before returning to the clinic.
He was given permission to leave the center in May to attend a family event. The indictment states that Boogaard asked his brother for a blue pill from the bag he had left him and took the pill before a night of heavy drinking at bars in downtown Minneapolis.
That explains where the drugs came from — allegedly — that actually did Boogaard in. But it doesn’t reveal — officially — the larger question: How’d Boogaard get addicted painkillers in the first place? He had already been addicted for five years before meeting Hart.
In its investigation in 2011, the New York Times revealed Boogaard was good at getting painkillers while playing for Minnesota.
Most N.H.L. teams have about 10 affiliated doctors — specialists and dentists with practices of their own. Boogaard had learned that there was no system to track who was prescribing what.
In one three-month stretch of the 2008-9 season with the Wild, Boogaard received at least 11 prescriptions for painkillers from eight doctors — including at least one doctor for a different team, according to records gathered by his father, Len Boogaard. Combined, the prescriptions were for 370 tablets of painkillers containing hydrocodone, typically sold under brand names like Vicodin.
Derek Boogaard increasingly wanted more pills. He became adept at getting them.
In downtown Minneapolis, Boogaard’s favorite hangout was Sneaky Pete’s, a sports bar that becomes a raucous club on weekend nights. Stripper poles are erected on the dance floor, and a throbbing beat escapes beyond the velvet rope out front. Boogaard was a regular.
Young men fueled with alcohol begged Boogaard to punch them, so they could say they survived a shot from the Boogeyman. People bought him drinks. They took pictures of him and with him. They chanted his name. When the attention got overbearing, Boogaard escaped behind the bar, where his bobblehead likeness sat on a shelf.
“He was like Norm in ‘Cheers,’ ” said Stewart Hafiz, whose family owns the bar.
And Boogaard often bought painkillers, thousands of dollars’ worth at a time, from someone he knew there, according to Boogaard’s brother Aaron.
The Times suggested his job as an enforcer for the Wild — and the adoration hockey fans show enforcers — started the progression that led to his death.
A copy of the indictment: