Drug Enforcement Administration


Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

February 26, 2014

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (571) 362-3517

Florida-Based Oxycodone Suppliers Sentenced To Federal Prison

ROME, Ga. - Gerald Young and Rodney Strachan, two Florida men who supplied large amounts of the prescription narcotic Oxycodone to pill distributors in northwest Georgia, have been sentenced to prison. 

Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division commented on the case, "One of DEA's top priorities is addressing the problem of the diversion and abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals. These pill peddling perpetrators trafficked scores of Oxycodone pills. Now, they are deserving of the prison term they received. This case was successful because of the unified efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners."

"The significant sentences imposed reflect our office's continued commitment to ending the illegal distribution of prescription painkillers in our community," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "The defendants sentenced today supplied a drug trafficking organization with tens of thousands of Oxycodone tablets.  In recent years, the abuse of Oxycodone has risen to epidemic proportions, and fatal overdose rates continue to rise.  We will pursue anyone involved in the illegal acquisition and distribution of pain killers, including unscrupulous doctors, pharmacists, and clinic owners."

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, and the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office, revealed that John Gregory Alvarez was the leader of a thirteen-person conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone and launder the proceeds of the illicit sales of the pills.  This drug trafficking organization obtained the vast majority of its pills from Florida.  Specifically, co-defendant Alvarez, and later co-defendants that he recruited, would travel to Florida on a monthly basis to obtain prescription Oxycodone painkillers from both Young and Strachan.

Young and Strachan stockpiled copious amounts of Oxycodone pills, which they would then provide to Alvarez and his co-conspirators on consignment.  Members of the Alvarez organization would sell the pills for a profit, and then reinvest the proceeds into the organization by using the funds to pay for the previous month's supply of narcotics.    The reach of this organization's illegal Oxycodone distribution included not only the northwest Georgia area, but also extended into Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  Investigators determined that this conspiracy was responsible for trafficking hundreds of thousands of Oxycodone pills.

Young, 69, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Strachan, 58, of Pompano Beach, Fla., were sentenced by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy.  Young was sentenced to ten years, one month in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Strachan was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Both are the last defendants to be sentenced for their roles in this Oxycodone distribution ring based in Rossville, Ga.

For his role in leading the northwest Georgia drug trafficking organization, on October 21, 2011, Alvarez was sentenced to 21 years, ten months in prison to be followed by six years of supervised release. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.com.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, officers of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, and deputies of the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office.

Assistant United States Attorney C. Brock Brockington prosecuted the case.

The DEA 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.

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