Often when we see headlines related to federal charges for drug trafficking, we first think of cocaine or marijuana operations that we may have seen in the movies. But increasingly, federal prosecutors are focusing on prescription drug crimes. Prosecutors seek to identify those that are obtaining prescription drugs without a prescription and the sources that make those drugs available.
You have likely heard of the prescription drug Oxycodone and its potential for addiction and abuse. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that last week a Georgia man was sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of involvement in an Oxycodone trafficking operation.
Prosecutors allege that the Georgia man was in charge of a conspiracy that distributed the prescription drug after obtaining it with the help of out-of-state doctors. In other cases, prosecutors have alleged that those seeking to obtain medications without a prescription have impersonated doctors by forging doctors’ names or stealing prescription pads to write prescriptions that appear to be legitimate.
Prosecutors say that there were 13 individuals involved in the alleged drug conspiracy. The man was also convicted of related charges of laundering the money that the distribution of the drugs allegedly generated.
As is the case with many drugs, the illegal trade in Oxycodone is driven in large part by those who have serious addiction issues. Many individuals with serious drug addictions would like nothing more in the world than to never want to touch the drug again. Unfortunately, those who need help the most often have the fewest resources to access rehabilitative services that could help them to get clean.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution “Oxycodone ring leader sentenced,” Christopher Seward, Oct. 22, 2011