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Essex County, New Jersey, Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Oxycodone Distribution Ring

MAY 25 (NEWARK, N.J.) –– Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division and Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced an Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to illegally obtain and distribute oxycodone in New Jersey.

Rickie Horvath, 54, of Belleville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
 
Using confidential sources, physical surveillance, and recorded text messages and telephone calls, investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) discovered that members and suppliers of a drug-trafficking organization secured prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances from various doctors in New Jersey, filled them at pharmacies in Belleville and elsewhere, and sold the drugs for a profit. The investigation identified Horvath as a member of the drug trafficking organization.

Horvath admitted that from Feb. 5, 2014, to Aug. 13, 2014, he personally went to various doctors’ offices and obtained prescriptions for pills containing oxycodone, had the prescriptions filled, and sold the pills to members of the conspiracy and others. He said that on a single day in June 2014, he traveled to a doctor’s office in Livingston, New Jersey, where he and two conspirators each obtained a prescription for 60 Endocet pills. Horvath and his conspirators dropped off the three prescriptions to be filled by a pharmacy in East Orange, New Jersey. Horvath admitted that he and his two conspirators then found a fourth conspirator to buy the 180 Endocet pills.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. The Endocet pills obtained and sold by Horvath each contained 10 milligrams of oxycodone.
 
The charge to which Horvath pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.


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