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Four Indicted for Federal Prescription Drug Fraud

MAR 20 (COLUMBUS, Ga.) –U. S. Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Celeste Smith, 38, of Statham, Georgia, as well as Jessica Wise, 28, Antwan Byrd, 30, and Jerry Cooper, 64, of Athens, Georgia, were charged, on March 12, 2014, in United States District Court in Macon, in multiple-count indictments of illegally acquiring thousands of Schedule II, III, and IV, prescription pills, such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Alphrazolam (Xanax). 
           
            If convicted, Ms. Smith, Ms. Wise, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Byrd face a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment and a fine of 250,000.

            The indictment is only an allegation and the accused are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

            These indictments were the result of a joint federal/local investigation involving the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Athens-Clarke County Police Department and Monroe Police Department.  Assistant U. S. Attorney Danial E. Bennett is prosecuting the case for the government. 

            Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2603.
                                                                                   
         The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.


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