Thursday, May 23, 2013
A federal task force has charged eight people with running a scheme to fill fake prescriptions for OxyContin that started in New York City and spread to Biddeford and Greater Portland.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also charged two of the suspects with conspiracy to ship thousands of dollars worth of cocaine and heroin from New York to Maine.
Five people were indicted last week by a federal grand jury and appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on Tuesday.
Dean Tosi, 31, Jillian Fortin, 23, Cynthia Laverriere, 31, and Crystal Roberge, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and acquiring drugs by deception, which can lead to four years in prison.
Anthony Cadilla, 29, is charged with attempting to commit both crimes, which carries similar jail terms, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II.
A sixth defendant, Donald Blow, 31, of Biddeford, was charged but has not been arraigned.
An affidavit filed by Thomas Lapierre, a Biddeford police officer assigned to the DEA task force, says Blow used a fake prescription to get 180 30-milligram oxycodone pills from a Westbrook pharmacy.
The prescription was written on an "Official New York State Prescription," purportedly by a doctor in the Bronx.
Separate court cases filed by federal prosecutors lay out the case against Michael Lucas and Peter Risko.
In 2011, Risko allegedly generated fake prescriptions on stolen New York prescription pads using a special printer. The prescriptions included a fake telephone number. If a pharmacy called to check on the validity of the prescription, a member of the scheme would pretend to be the doctor or a staff person and approve the prescription.
Lucas would find people who were willing to get fake prescriptions in exchange for 20 of the pills. Lucas would pay Risko for the prescriptions – the complaint does not say how much – and sell the rest of the pills.
In March, Lucas arranged go to New Jersey to get 100 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of heroin from Risko, court papers say. When police stopped Lucas and confiscated the drugs in Maine, he said he owed Risko $10,500 for them.
Risko and Lucas are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and oxycodone, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre said the arrests should put a dent in at least one source of drugs making their way into the city.
Beaupre said that with the suspects charged federally, which requires an interstate component to the crime, they could face significantly more prison time than if they had been charged under state law.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org