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Two Sentenced in Pill Mill Case

FEB 28 (DALLAS) - Two defendants who pleaded guilty to their roles in a pill mill operation they were involved in during parts of 2013-2014 have been sentenced. 

U.S. Attorney John Parker announced that Taneisha Nickerson, 29, of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced last week to 24 months in federal prison, following her guilty plea in August 2016 to one count of unlawful use of a communication device.  Co-defendant Adrian Banks, 23, of Dallas, was also sentenced last week to 20 months in federal prison.  He pleaded guilty in August 2016 to the same offense. 

In March 2015, a federal grand jury in Dallas indicted 23 individuals, including Nickerson and Banks, on offenses related to their participation in a prescription drug distribution conspiracy.  That indictment alleged that from at least May 2013 through July 2014, the defendants participated in a scheme to illicitly obtain prescriptions for pain medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, and then distribute those controlled substances for profit.  As part of the conspiracy, individuals, often homeless or of limited means, were recruited and paid to pose as patients at medical clinics, including the McAllen Medical Clinic in Dallas, to obtain prescriptions to fill those prescriptions at designated pharmacies.  Many of those defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

According to documents filed in the Nickerson case, on March 5, 2014, in a telephone call Nickerson agreed to deliver 225 oxycodone 30mg pills to one of co-conspirator Cornelius Robinson’s customers. Nickerson possessed the pills with the intent to distribute them at the time of the call.

According to documents filed in the Banks case, on February 26, 2014, Banks called co-conspirator Cornelius Robinson and told him that he was in Dallas “running patients” and wanted to know if a “patient” could use a green card to fill a prescription at a pharmacy.  Robinson told Banks that he thought so because it is an identification card.  Banks told Robinson that the prescriptions he had to fill that day were for Lorcet, Robinson told him that there was not a lot of money in Lorcet.  Banks responded that he expected to be “running patients,” that is, filling prescriptions, for oxycodone, within two weeks.

The investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Louisiana State Police, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Houston Police Department, the Arlington Police Department, the Greenville Police Department, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Diplomatic Security Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Walters is prosecuting.

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