Drug Enforcement Administration

New Jersey

Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge

November 20, 2018

Contact: Timothy P. McMahon

Phone Number: (973) 776-1100

Two Hunterdon County women sentenced for distributing opioids

TRENTON, N.J. – Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, Valerie A. Nickerson, and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Craig Carpenito, announced two Hunterdon County, New Jersey, women were sentenced today to federal prison terms for their respective roles in an oxycodone distribution conspiracy in Flemington, New Jersey.

Michele Call, 63, of Flemington was sentenced to 54 months in prison, and Nelida Rios, 55, also of Flemington, was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson to informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. Judge Wolfson imposed the sentences today in Trenton federal court.

From April 2016 through December 2017, Rios, Call and Call’s daughter, Alicia Balaban, 35, of Wellington, Florida, worked together to secure prescriptions for oxycodone, fill them at pharmacies in Flemington, and then distribute the pills to Marie DeJulia, 42, of Lodi, New Jersey, from Call’s and Rios’ Flemington residences for resale. The conspirators distributed thousands of 30 mg oxycodone pills.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Wolfson sentenced both women to three years of supervised release, and fined them each $1,000. She ordered forfeiture of $40,000 from Call and $42,000 from Rios.

Balaban and DeJulia have also pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced next week.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Nickerson in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencings.

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