May 18, 2018
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Long Island Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Distribute Oxycodone
Defendant boasted on Facebook about his illegal drug dealing
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Terrance Belford pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Belford was arrested in June 2017 for his participation in an oxycodone distribution ring active on Long Island and elsewhere in 2016. The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert. When sentenced, Belford faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York Division, announced the guilty plea.
“Using stolen prescription forms to acquire his drug supply, Belford distributed opioids in our community and beyond, fueling the opioid crisis to his financial benefit,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office will continue to vigorously prosecute opioid dealers like the defendant who are motivated by greed and have no respect for the lives of others.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his gratitude to all the alert and responsible pharmacists nationwide, including those in Enterprise, Alabama, whose reports of the suspicious prescription forms presented by Belford and his co-conspirators were integral to the success of this prosecution.
“Belford didn’t have too much to hide since he boldly posted his drug trafficking activities on social media,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt. “Too often, criminal organizations try to hide behind new communication platforms with false bravado that no one is watching, but in this case, law enforcement was watching. Today’s plea is a result of drug law enforcement’s commitment to investigating those who enable drug addiction and misuse.”
According to court filings and facts presented during the plea proceeding, beginning in late 2016 and continuing into early 2017, the DEA learned of a large number of New York State prescription forms that had been stolen and later filled at various pharmacies located within the Eastern District of New York, as well as in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama, among other locations. Belford and his co-conspirators filled out the stolen prescription forms and used them to obtain controlled substances, typically 30 milligram oxycodone tablets. They then sold the fraudulently acquired opioids at a substantial profit.
In December 2016, Belford attempted to fill one of the stolen prescriptions in Enterprise, Alabama, under a false name. An employee of the pharmacy refused to fill the prescription and called the local police, resulting in Belford’s arrest. Further investigation revealed that, via his Facebook account, Belford boasted of his ability to obtain multiple controlled substances unlawfully, including oxycodone, Percocet and powder cocaine. Belford stated on Facebook that, if had he not been intercepted in Alabama, he would have made up to $2,000 for each forged prescription through the resale of oxycodone.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad comprising agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Port Washington Police Department and Internal Revenue Service.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney J. Matthew Haggans is in charge of the prosecution.
Bellport, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-(JS)