New Orleans-area defendants plead guilty to fraudulent possession and black market distribution of oxycodone
Prescription drug diversion conspiracy resulted in approximately 10,000 oxycodone pills
NEW ORLEANS – Eight New Orleans-area defendants have pleaded guilty for their participation in a conspiracy to obtain oxycodone through fraud by using fictitious prescriptions. Six of the eight defendants have also pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone on the black market.
Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's New Orleans Field Division made the announcement along with Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s Dallas Field Office.
Jesse J. Wildenfels, 39, of Metairie, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today to a dual-object conspiracy to acquire and obtain possession of oxycodone by fraud and to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute. On Oct. 17, guilty pleas for Controlled Substances Act violations also were entered by Luis R. Cabrera, Jr., 38, of Norco, Louisiana; Vicki J. Skeldon, 44, of Metairie; Stephanie N. Free, 28, of Gretna, Louisiana; Jarrod A. Doubleday, 47, of Livingston, Louisiana; John A. Doubleday, 52, of Place, Louisiana; Whitney J. Swan III, 48, of Saint Rose, Louisiana; and Cynthia B. Foret, 41, also of Norco. Cabrera, Skeldon, Free, John Doubleday and Swan pleaded guilty to a dual-object conspiracy to acquire and obtain possession of oxycodone by fraud and to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Jarrod Doubleday and Foret pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain possession of oxycodone by fraud.
“The eight individuals involved in this scheme heartlessly contributed to the opioid epidemic plaguing our society today,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Azzam. “This malicious conduct puts lives at risk and won’t be tolerated. DEA, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue those who seek to perpetuate and profit from the opioid crisis in this country and bring them to justice.”
The charges stem from the defendants’ involvement in a prescription drug diversion conspiracy in the greater New Orleans area. The conspiracy in total resulted in the diversion of approximately 10,000 oxycodone pills on the black market.
In pleading guilty, Cabrera, Skeldon, Free, John Doubleday, Swan and Wildenfels admitted that, between February 2017 and June 2018, they either provided their personal identifying information for the purpose of having fictitious prescriptions for oxycodone created in their names or referred co-conspirators for the purpose of having fictitious prescriptions for oxycodone written in their co-conspirators’ names. The prescriptions were then filled at area pharmacies, and a portion of oxycodone pills obtained with those prescriptions were subsequently sold on the black market. Additionally, in pleading guilty, Jarrod Doubleday admitted to filling fictitious prescriptions for oxycodone in his own name between April 2017 and May 2017. And, in pleading guilty, Foret admitted to forging prescriptions for oxycodone in her own name and in the name of her co-conspirators between February 2015 and October 2016, which were ultimately filled.
This case was investigated by the DEA, FBI, HHS-OIG, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
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