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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ottawa Woman Sentenced To 25 Years For Running Prescription Drug Trafficking Ring

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – An Ottawa, Kan., woman has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for running a prescription drug trafficking ring tied to the death of a man who died from taking a mixture of prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Connie Edwards, 61, Ottawa, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute prescription drugs. In her plea, she admitted that from Nov. 1, 2007, to Feb. 28, 2012, she conspired with others to distribute oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine and other prescription drugs in Ottawa.

An investigation began early in 2010 when the Franklin County Drug Enforcement Unit received information that people working for Edwards were distributing prescription drugs in Ottawa. Sources told investigators Edwards rented to people who paid her in prescription pills and she accepted stolen property in payment for pills.

On May 10, 2009, a victim who bought drugs from the Edwards' organization, was found unconscious in the living room of his mother's home. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that he died from taking a toxic combination of methadone, hydrocodone and carisoprodol.

Investigators learned that the afternoon before the victim died he went to Edwards' house, where he bought a white powder he was told was methamphetamine. In fact, one of Edwards' associates produced the powder by crushing prescription pills including hydrocodone, methadone and carisoprodol. Edwards was present when the victim bought the drugs, but the associate handled the sale. Later that evening, the victim purchased prescription pills from Edwards, who delivered the pills to the victim in a van outside the Hidden Meadows apartment complex in Ottawa. The victim then took the pills and injected the substance he believed was methamphetamine, creating a toxic combination that caused his death.

Investigators documented numerous incidents in which Edwards and her associates sold prescription drugs.

Co-defendants include:
Brittany Edwards, 20, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing May 6. Shirley Price, 45, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing June 10.
Dustin Price, 24, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing May 6.
Joel Keith Price, 55, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing May 6.
Morgan Price, 22, Ottawa, Kan., who was sentenced to 5 years probation with 6 months in the halfway house.
Brandi Bivens, 31, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing July 22.
Angela Mitchell, 36, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing April 29.
Tamara Ledom, 37, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing May 28.
Florence Edwards, 39, Ottawa, Kan., who is set for sentencing April 15.

Grissom commended the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ottawa Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri McCracken for their work on the case.