CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Adam Keith Jones, 28, of Statesville, N.C. was sentenced today to serve 131 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for a conspiracy to possess with intent to illegally distribute Oxycodone, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Sheriff Phillip H. Redmond of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Daniel W. Mitchell of the McDowell County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Office.
To date, seven additional defendants have been sentenced for their role in the same drug trafficking conspiracy:
SAC Sommers commented on the case, “One of DEA’s top priorities is addressing the problem of the diversion and abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals. Mr. Jones undermined the efforts of several medical doctors by forging prescriptions. Today we are proud to announce that this criminal has been removed from the streets and is worthy of the prison term he received. This case was successful because of the unified efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
“The prosecution of individuals involved in the illegal distribution of prescription pain pills is a top priority for this Office because of the significant number of deaths attributable to the prescription drug abuse,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said. “Every day, more than 2,500 young people abuse prescription drugs for the first time and more than 15 million people in this country are addicted to prescription pain medications.”
“Worse, people are dying in vast numbers because of the abuse of prescription medications,” Tompkins added. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdoses exceeds the number of deaths from the use of other illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin combined. Last year alone, there were more than 1,000 deaths in North Carolina from prescription drug abuse.”
“My Office will continue to be aggressive in the prosecution of those involved in this aspect of the illegal drug trade including doctors and pharmacies that have become nothing short of illegal pill mills,” Tompkins continued. “But prosecutions alone are not enough, which is why I have partnered with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to hold a summit to explain the dangers of prescription drug abuse. We have also sponsored Operation Medicine Drop, which encourages citizens to dispose of unneeded and outdated prescription medications safely at designated locations throughout the district. With the cooperation of our constituents and aggressive and proactive law enforcement, we hope to stamp out this growing problem before it reaches epidemic proportions.”
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, Jones was the ring leader of the conspiracy which spanned from 2005 to 2010, and operated in Iredell, Alexander, and Watauga Counties, N.C, as well as Virginia, Florida, West Virginia, and elsewhere. Court records show that the defendants obtained and filled doctors’ prescriptions for pain pills and then illegally resold the pain medication to individual purchasers. Information contained in court documents indicates that law enforcement agents seized approximately 1,980 prescription pills, five firearms, three vehicles, and approximately $33,548 through undercover operations, traffic stops and execution of search warrants.
All defendants are currently in federal custody. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The case was investigated by the DEA offices in Charlotte and Charleston, West Virginia; Iredell County Sheriff’s Office; Alexander County Sheriff’s Office; Watauga County Sheriff’s Office; the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force in Bluefield, West Virginia; the West Virginia State Police; and McDowell County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman.
SAC Sommers encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.