Members Of Upstate Oxycontin Ring Plead Guilty
Columbia, SC. - United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Kenneth Clark, 50, of Spartanburg, Anna L. Huckeba, 24, of Moore, and Ryan E. Sarquist, 28, of Moore, pled guilty today in federal court in Anderson, S.C., to conspiracy to sell controlled substances, a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Senior United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr., of Anderson will hand down the sentence once he has received a pre-sentence investigation report prepared by the United States Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Clark, Huckeba, and Sarquist were part of a conspiracy to create and pass fraudulent prescriptions for oxycontin. The conspiracy recruited individuals to pass the bogus prescriptions throughout the upstate area of South Carolina. The fake prescription would have an actual physician’s name on it, but the telephone number was a conspiracy-controlled phone. If the pharmacy called the number on the prescription to verify it, a member of the conspiracy would pretend to be the physician’s office and would confirm that the prescription was valid. The recruits would receive a few pills for their efforts and the remainder would be sold by the conspiracy to addicts.
Clark’s primary job in the conspiracy was to drive recruits to the pharmacy and bring the leaders of the conspiracy the pills obtained. Huckeba and Sarquist recruited individuals to pass the prescriptions. Huckeba also provided the conspiracy with physician DEA numbers to aid in the creation of the fraudulent prescriptions. Law enforcement estimates that the conspiracy earned at least $240,000 from the sale of pills.
Mr. Nettles said that the maxim sentence Clark, Huckeba, and Sarquist could receive is 20 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and a special assessment fee of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.
Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division 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.