Thursday, June 09, 2011

P-G: Prescription drug sweep nets 19

Editor's note: Congratulations to Chief Coleman McDonough and the entire Mt. Lebanon Police Department for their work on this major drug bust.

A two-year, multi-agency investigation has resulted in the takedown of what U.S. Attorney David Hickton called "the largest and most sophisticated prescription drug ring" to ever operate in Western Pennsylvania.

Flanked by Special Agent Gary Davis of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and various local police chiefs who assisted with the investigation, Mr. Hickton announced on Wednesday that 19 individuals will be charged with conspiring to distribute and possess oxycodone, a prescription painkiller in the opioid family that has become highly popular in recent years.

The outfit was so advanced, Mr. Hickton explained, because its operatives were able to use computer software to design realistic-looking prescription templates. Led by Jefferson Hills resident John Paul Larcinese, they then obtained DEA registration numbers for doctors who prescribe painkillers, giving the ring the ability to present prescriptions that appeared legitimate, Mr. Hickton said.

The ring recruited "runners," who would travel to pharmacies, obtain oxycodone prescriptions and then turn the pills back over to Mr. Larcinese, who would pay them in either cash, oxycodone or both.

According to the indictments handed up Tuesday, the ring was in operation from February 2009 to June 2010.

The scheme began to unravel when Mt. Lebanon detectives received information about phony prescriptions being used in pharmacies there. Soon after, a detective received a tip that Mr. Larcinese was in the area of one of the pharmacies.

After a brief foot pursuit, he was apprehended and the investigation launched, explained Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Coleman McDonough.

Read the full article:

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home