News Release
April 4, 2006

Former Winthrop Man Sentenced in OxyContin Conspiracy

Boston, MA... A former Winthrop man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiracy to distribute OxyContin and for conspiring to smuggle heroin into the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England, United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Mark Dragonetti, Resident Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations in New England, announced today that  DONALD LOUIS PICARDI, age 51, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to 140 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by six years of supervised release, on his September 29, 2005, guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone, distribution of oxycodone, conspiracy to engage in the unlicensed wholesale distribution of a prescription drug, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin.  He had faced a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that PICARDI was arrested on May 18, 2001, in Canton, MA, when he came to deliver about 1,188 OxyContin tablets to a cooperating witness, who had identified PICARDI as his source.  OxyContin is a brand name for the narcotic oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.  When PICARDI arrived in Canton for the transaction, law enforcement officers attempted a motor vehicle stop, but he fled, driving onto the sidewalk in an attempt to avoid police and failing to stop for several marked and unmarked police cars with sirens and lights activated.  PICARDI was ultimately stopped in the parking lot of a local business and arrested.  Additionally, a witness had observed PICARDI throw a bag containing about 1,188 OxyContin tablets out of his car window as he attempted to flee from law enforcement.  Further investigation revealed that PICARDI was part of a larger conspiracy responsible for the distribution of about 19,000 OxyContin tablets from Florida to Massachusetts during a four-month period in early 2001.

In June, 2001, shortly after PICARDI’s arrest on the OxyContin charges,  he received a package at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility (PCCF) which contained about .07 grams of heroin.  He claimed no knowledge of how it came to be sent to him.  In October 2001, a cooperating witness –who had been incarcerated with PICARDI at PCCF–came forward and told law enforcement that PICARDI had recruited the witness to smuggle heroin into the jail, using outside associates to secret heroin in packages and mail them into the jail.

The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad.