Tag Archives: oxycodone

DEA raids colossal fentanyl operation. Could produce thousands of pills per hour.

By Ben Guarino

In one of the largest drug busts in Utah history, federal agents seized synthetic opioids in bulk and cash by the bagful on Tuesday. The home the agents raided contained a “pill press,” which they considered to be the source of thousands, possibly millions, of fentanyl pills. The drug producers falsely labeled the pills as Xanax or oxycodone and distributed the capsules in part by mail across the United States.

Multiple federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Guard, as well as the Internal Revenue Service, surrounded a house located in the city of Cottonwood Heights, in Salt Lake County. Authorities also searched another home, which the Salt Lake Tribune described as a “stash location.” At the stash location alone, the Tribune reported that authorities found 70,000 pills disguised as oxycodone and another 25,000 as fake Xanax.

Witnesses likened the scene at Cottonwood Heights to something “out of a science fiction movie,” as ABC4 Utah News put it, because agents donned oxygen tanks and protective gear before entering the home. Agencies were concerned that skin contact with fentanyl powder, which was reportedly present throughout the house, posed a danger.

Full Read – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/23/dea-raids-colossal-fentanyl-operation-in-one-of-the-largest-drug-busts-in-utah-history/

Drug arrest of John Gotti’s grandson triggers cops to raid late mobster’s Howard Beach home for the first time

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, August 4, 2016, 10:27 PM

It’s the Fall of the House of Gotti.

The late mob boss John Gotti must be spinning in his grave after NYPD cops raided his iconic home in Howard Beach early Thursday to arrest his namesake grandson on drug charges.

The raid marked the first time ever that members of law enforcement crossed the Gotti threshold armed with a search warrant.

“They destroyed the house,” claimed Gerard Marrone, the lawyer representing John Gotti, the grandson. His father is mob scion Peter Gotti.

Detectives seized $40,000 and 500 Oxycodone pills inside a safe in Gotti’s bedroom where he was shacked up with girlfriend Eleonor Gabrielli, who was also busted, officials said.

Retired FBI supervisor Phil Scala said the 23-year-old grandson’s reckless behavior in the House of Gotti violated a sacred rule. The Dapper Don never conducted mob business in his home because he wanted to protect his family from exposure to his criminal activities, according to Scala, who headed the Bureau’s Gambino squad for years.

“If John was still alive he would be spewing every pejorative he could, knowing that somebody did something so stupid to besmirch his home and his family,” Scala told the Daily News.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Gotti and a crew of dope dealers were peddling Oxycodone pills on the streets of Howard Beach and Ozone Park for $23 to $24 per painkiller pill.

Just like his grandfather was brought down by a bug planted in an elderly woman’s apartment above the mob boss’s Ravenite Social Club in lower Manhattan, investigators secretly installed a listening device in Gotti’s Infiniti sedan as part of their drug probe dubbed “Operation Beach Party.”

Gotti was recorded on a wiretap stating that he sold more than 4,200 pills a month and the illicit business pulled in $100,000 a month.

Undercover cops allegedly made 11 buys from Gotti, purchasing $46,000 worth of Oxycodone from him. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Investigators also executed a search warrant at the Rebel Ink Tattoo Parlor where Gotti is a part-owner.

“He’s lucky his grandfather is not alive,” said Lewis Kasman, the deceased Gotti’s so-called adopted son. “John Sr. would have killed the kid himself.”

He also said the elder Gotti never brought business home.

“No wiseguy was allowed in that house and the only non-blood family member permitted inside was me,” Kasman said. “That was his (Gotti’s) palace, so to speak. This is a desecration of everything that John stood for in terms of the family house being sacred.”

The bedroom of Gotti’s son Frankie, who was killed in a tragic car accident, was maintained as a shrine in the house, Kasman said.

Also charged are Shaine Hack, 37, Edward Holohan, 50, Steve Kruger, 57, Justin Testa, 41, Michael Farduchi, 24, Melissa Erul, 23, and Dawn Biers, 46.

Investigators seized $200,000 from Hack’s home in Howard Beach — allegedly drug proceeds he was holding for Gotti.

The feds never sought a search warrant for the home in the past although there were unproven suspicions the “Gotti legacy,” — a massive stash of cash reaped from Gambino family rackets — was possibly hidden somewhere inside, Scala said.

Drug industry hired dozens of officials from the DEA as the agency tried to curb opioid abuse

By Scott Higham, Lenny Bernstein, Steven Rich and Alice Crites

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive pain pills have hired dozens of officials from the top levels of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the past decade, according to a Washington Post investigation.

The hires came after the DEA launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year. In 2005, the DEA began to crack down on companies that were distributing inordinate numbers of pills such as oxycodone to pain-management clinics and pharmacies around the country.

Since then, the pharmaceutical companies and law firms that represent them have hired at least 42 officials from the DEA — 31 of them directly from the division responsible for regulating the industry, according to work histories compiled by The Post and interviews with current and former agency officials.

The number of hires has prompted some current and former government officials to ask whether the companies raided the division to hire away DEA officials who were architects of the agency’s enforcement campaign or were most responsible for enforcing the laws the firms were accused of violating.

“The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,” said John Carnevale, former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, who now runs a consulting firm. “These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.”

Read Full – https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/key-officials-switch-sides-from-dea-to-pharmaceutical-industry/2016/12/22/55d2e938-c07b-11e6-b527-949c5893595e_story.html?utm_term=.a6e6664d1a03

Indictment says Berea pharmacist distributed drugs ‘outside scope of professional practice’

38-count indictment was unsealed on Friday

Five other co-defendants named in indictment

Alleged distribution of drugs began in 2010