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News Release
March 20, 2003

Two Fall River Men Convicted and Sentenced for OxyContin Distribution

Boston, MA…Two Fall River men pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute OxyContin. Immediately following the pleas, the Court sentenced both men.

Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Mark, Dragonetti, Resident Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced that DAVID TERCEIRA, age 42, of 98 Harrison Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, and STEVEN P. NETO, age 31, of 28 Plattt Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, oxycodone and hydrocodone, and to possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone.

At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government's evidence would have proven that on December 11, 2001, law enforcement officers arrested co-defendant Norman L. Smith on a complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone. Smith agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and said he had a transaction scheduled for later that evening and that a woman named "Sheila" would be contacting him to arrange it. The telephone call occurred and the transaction was scheduled to take place near Sheila's Fall River residence.

Law enforcement, acting in an undercover capacity, accompanied Smith in his van to a location near Sheila's address. At approximately 10:20 p.m., NETO approached the van. One of the law enforcement officers told NETO he had the money and was ready to do the deal. NETO responded in turn that he had the pills. NETO was then placed under arrest. At the time of his arrest, NETO was observed dropping a bottle containing approximately 60 OxyContin tablets at his feet. The tablets were analyzed by the DEA laboratory and were determined to be oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.

NETO told officials that it was the first occasion that he had delivered pills to Smith and said he had been paid $5 a pill to do so by his friend, TERCEIRA.

Investigators located TERCEIRA sitting in a nearby car, which matched the description of the car, that Smith told law enforcement he was expecting to see at the 9:30 p.m. transaction. During a search of TERCEIRA, law enforcement found four Roxicet tablets in his pants pocket. Roxicet is a brand name for a compound containing oxycodone and acetaminophen. TERCEIRA told officials that he had obtained the bottle of 60 OxyContin tablets and that he had provided them to NETO. TERCEIRA said that it was about the third time he had provided OxyContin to Smith.

After accepting their pleas, Judge Tauro sentenced TERCEIRA to time served and 3 years supervised release. TERCEIRA and NETO have both been in federal custody since their arrests on December 11, 2001. NETO was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

The charges are still pending against Norman Smith, age 48, of Fall River, and another co-defendant, Loretta Costa, age 28, of New Bedford. Smith was also arrested on December 11, 2001 and has been in custody since that time. Costa was taken into federal custody on January 11, 2002 and also remains in custody.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Tactical Diversion Squad and the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations.

Contact: Anthony J. Pettigrew 617-557-2138

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