Federal Grand Jury Has Indicted 13 Defendants With Drug Trafficking, Health Care Fraud And Possession Of Firearms
DEC 18--Washington, DC- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced that a Federal Grand Jury Has Indicted 13 Defendants With Drug Trafficking, Health Care Fraud And Possession Of Firearms. The indictment alleges that from at least February, 1999 to November, 2003 the defendants used fraudulent prescriptions to obtain Oxycontin, Percocet and other prescription medications from Maryland pharmacies for resale on the street. The criminal charges are the result of a 2 year investigation by a joint task force which included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland State Attorney General's Office, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Howard County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department and the United States Attorney's Office.
The following 13 defendants, all residents of Baltimore City, are named in the 15-count indictment which was returned December 10, 2003 and unsealed today:
John Lee Fulton, Sr., age 44
April Moore, age 36
William Henry Muldrow, age 59
Ricardo James Womble, age 51
Jerry Lewis Pugh, age 49
Curtis Sample, age 49
Sherry Lyn Heavel, age 31
Melvin Williams, age 44
Louis Hammond, age 65
Anthony Cunningham, age 45
Michelle Scott, age 38
Larry Hall, age 54
John Doe, an Unidentified Male
The indictment alleges that during the 4 year conspiracy, Fulton, Scott, and Muldrow created fraudulent prescriptions using information stolen from physicians who were licensed to dispense medication. Fulton and Muldrow, along with Womble, then recruited Williams, Cunningham, Hall, Hammond, Heavel, Moore, Pugh and others to submit the fraudulent prescriptions at pharmacies throughout Maryland, including Harford, Baltimore, Montgomery, Howard, Prince George's, Anne Arundel and Charles counties. The defendants allegedly used health insurance cards, including Maryland Medicaid program cards, of Sample and others to pay for fraudulent prescriptions. The so-called "runners" would then turn the prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Endocet, Xanax and other drugs over to Fulton, Muldrow and Womble for resale on the street. The group operated out of a car wash known as "The Rack Room Hand Car Wash, Detailing and Game Room" located at 1228 Hollins Street, Baltimore City, Maryland until it was closed last month by federal authorities.
The drug conspiracy charges against all 13 defendants carry a maximum punishment.3 of 40 years imprisonment, a $2 million fine and 5 years supervised release.
Muldrow, Womble, Pugh, Heavel, Williams, Hammond and Scott are also charged with health care fraud for using Medicaid cards to obtain the prescriptions, and face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Muldrow is charged with using a firearm to further the drug conspiracy and faces a mandatory minimum term of 5 years, to follow any term of imprisonment imposed as to any other charges. Muldrow and Womble are also charged with being felons in possession of firearms and face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Fulton, Moore, Pugh, Williams and Cunningham are charged with identity theft for using Drug Enforcement Administration license numbers issued to prescribing physicians and face a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Other charges against the defendants include obtaining prescriptions by fraud, which carries a maximum of 4 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and misbranding prescription drugs due to their dispensing without valid prescriptions.
The Special Agent-in-Charge, Ms. Nagel stated, "The successful outcome of this investigation was only possible through the cooperation of all the participating agencies. I would like to thank them for their cooperation".
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.