July 21, 2017
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (571) 324-7520
DEA-Led Investigation Results In Convictions For 2 In “Pill Mill”
DALLAS - Jason Edgecombe, 40, and Cy Viator, 34, both of Houston, Texas, were sentenced this morning for their involvement in a “pill mill” operation, announced Special Agent-in-Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. of the DEA and U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Viator pleaded guilty in May 2016 to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and one count of unlawful use of a communication facility. U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater sentenced Viator to 140 months in federal prison on Count 1 and 48 months in prison on Count 2.
Edgecombe was sentenced before Judge Fitzwater to 3 months in federal prison. Edgecombe pleaded guilty in March 2017 to two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Judge Fitzwater ordered Edgecombe to report to serve his sentence on September 5, 2017.
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 29 individuals have now been convicted and all have been sentenced. The defendants received sentences ranging from time served to 140 months imprisonment.
According to plea documents in Viator’s case, on November 14, 2013, Viator and a co-conspirator conspired to obtain oxycodone and hydrocodone pills in Dallas, Texas, and distribute them in Louisiana. Viator and the co-conspirator obtained 2,000 oxycodone 30mg pills and also hydrocodone pills. After obtaining the pills, Viator drove the co-conspirator to a FedEx location in Dallas to ship the pills in two separate packages to Louisiana. While the co-conspirator was inside the FedEx shipping the packages, Viator sent him text messages with two recipient’s names and addresses. One intended recipient was Viator in Scott, Louisiana. On November 15, 2013, before delivery, both packages were seized by law enforcement in Lafayette, Louisiana. Each package contained three pill bottles in Viator’s name bearing an address in DeSoto, Texas and a total of 2,000 Oxycodone 30mg pills and 500 hydrocodone pills.
According to plea documents in Edgecombe’s case, on various occasions Edgecombe possessed a quantity of 30 mg oxycodone tablets and a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of 30mg oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Both were obtained without a valid prescription issued by a medical practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice or as otherwise authorized by law but instead received them from co-conspirators.
This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation was conducted by the DEA, 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 prosecuted.