EXCLUSIVE: We told you earlier this week that Mark Wahlberg and his Unrealistic Ideas is in early development on a documentary about USC football player turned drug kingpin Owen Hanson who was arrested by the FBI in 2015 and sentenced in 2017 for operating an empire that spanned the U.S., Latin America and Australia.
Now, Deadline has learned that Netflix has also been working on a docuseries with the Feds who took Hanson down. Former Netflix Documentary Contractor John Turner (now head of Imax docs division) is behind it with Greg Whiteley. Their docuseries we hear focuses on the Phantom Secure phone which was involved in nabbing Hanson.
Hanson began dealing recreational drugs and steroids to teammates in college during the early 2000s, ultimately building a violent empire. He was sentenced for more than 21 years in federal prison, 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 lynchpin to Hanson’s capture by the Feds was professional gambler R.J. Cipriani aka Robin Hood 702. Hanson gave him $2.5M to gamble and return to him in the form of a casino check. But Cipriani lost it on blackjack. In return, Hanson made death threats to Cipriani, sending him photos of his deceased mother’s defaced headstone, photos of his wife along with her personal information and a video showing beheadings.
Phantom Secure was the phone that Vincent Ramos designed and sold to criminals around the world. Hanson bought several of these phones and mistakenly gave one to the FBI undercover, who was investigating his case due to Cipriani going to the FBI to uncover this drug syndicate. The Feds then had the great idea of putting out their own encrypted phone and called it ANOM.
It is our understanding that Cipriani refused to be part of the docuseries which he believed was his story to tell.
Turner was a development consultant with Netflix Documentary Features, where he was also the creator of the crime series Dirty Money. He executive produced the recent documentary feature, Why Did You Kill Me?
Turner also produced the short Walk Run Cha-Cha, which was featured in anthology series From Here to Home which Turner produced for Davis Guggenheim’s Concordia Studio and The New York Times‘ OpDocs. It was nominated for both an Academy Award and a News & Documentary Emmy following its premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
Netflix was unavailable for comment.
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