July 10, 2017
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (214) 366-6900
78 Months In Prison For Participation In Pill Mill Ring
DALLAS - Carolina Giselle Berrio, a/k/a “Carolina Slocum Berrio,” “Karrie,” 37, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was sentenced last week for her involvement in a “pill mill” operation, announced DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. and U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Berrio was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 78 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in March 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Twenty-four individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas in February 2015 on offenses related to their participation in the prescription drug distribution conspiracy. That indictment alleged that from at least January 2013 through July 2014, the defendants participated in a scheme to illicitly obtain prescriptions for pain medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, and then distribute those controlled substances for profit. As part of the conspiracy, individuals, often homeless or of limited means, were recruited and paid to pose as patients at medical clinics, including the McAllen Medical Clinic, to obtain prescriptions to fill those prescriptions at designated pharmacies.
Superseding indictments were returned in December 2015 and in January 2016, and a total of 27 individuals have now been convicted.
According to plea documents in Berrio’s case, on December 18, 2013, Berrio negotiated to purchase a quantity of oxycodone 30mg pills from co-conspirator Cornelius Robinson, her supplier. Robinson asked for a higher price to deliver the oxycodone to Berrio in Lafayette, Louisiana, and a lower price if Berrio picks up the pills in Houston. Robinson agreed to supply Berrio with oxycodone 30mg at $18.50 per pill, and Berrio agreed to pick up the pills in Houston, Texas. Berrio sought 300 oxycodone 30mg pills with the intent to distribute them at a later time. In addition, Berrio admits to purchasing additional quantities of oxycodone 30 mg pills from Robinson in both March and May of 2014 that she intended to distribute at a later time.
This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Louisiana State Police, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Houston Police Department, the Arlington Police Department, the Greenville Police Department, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Diplomatic Security Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Walters is in charge of the prosecution.