Drug Enforcement Administration


Keith Martin , Special Agent in Charge

May 29, 2014

Contact: Brian McNeal

Phone Number: (571) 362-1498

Cincinnati Man Receives 12 Year Prison Sentence For Oxycodone Distribution Scheme

Nicholas Sandlin directed others to travel from Ohio to Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Kansas pain clinics to obtain and fill oxycodone prescriptions; Sandlin further admitted involvement in marijuana distribution conspiracy

May 29, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: (313) 234-4310

COVINGTON, Ky. - On May 29, 2014, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar sentenced 34-year-old Nicholas Sandlin to 151 months in prison and placed him on supervised release for life, after he completes his prison term.   

Sandlin admitted to conspiring with others from December of 2011, through February of 2013, to distribute oxycodone.  He was responsible for directing trips to pain clinics in Florida, in which numerous individuals from the Greater Cincinnati area would obtain similar prescriptions for oxycodone.  The group then commonly traveled to various locations in Florida, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Kansas to fill the prescriptions.  Sandlin and others directing the trips would pay the expenses of the others in return for the bulk of the oxycodone prescribed to each patient.  Sandlin also admitted to selling oxycodone as part of the conspiracy.  He was involved in approximately 13 trips to obtain oxycodone and admitted responsibility for distribution of over 5,000 oxycodone tablets.  Sandlin also admitted to taking part in a smaller conspiracy to distribute marijuana during this time as well. 

Sandlin’s was the final sentencing in a prosecution that resulted from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation, termed Operation Family Vacation.  Thirty eight members of the conspiracy have been convicted and sentenced.  Ringleaders of the group, Damon and John Helton, received prison sentences of 360 and 270 months, respectively, for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.  Sentences for other members of the group ranged from 168 months to 30 months, depending on criminal history and level of participation in the conspiracy.  Several members of the conspiracy were also convicted of laundering money on behalf of the group.  This investigation resulted in the forfeiture of five motor vehicles, 25 firearms, 12 pieces of real estate, and approximately $110,000 in currency.  

Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, James V. Allen, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Detroit Field Division, and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, jointly announced the sentencing.
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