News and Press Releases

Nine Charged in Florida-Delaware Oxycodone Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Vito S. Guarino, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Philadelphia Division, announce the arrests of Scott Evan Thomas, 42, Ryan Donald Wolf, 34, Bridgette Anne Thomas, 34, Leslie F. Tiner, 62, John Cushier Ferenbach, 30, James Francis Ohanlon, 33, Christopher Allen Ashley, 33, John Joseph Pharis, 39, and Ronald Dwayne Majewski, 31, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. All the defendants, except Tiner, are residents of Delaware. Tiner is a resident of Boca Raton, Florida.

The defendants, except John Pharis, were arrested today in Delaware and are in custody. They are expected to make their initial appearances in federal court in Delaware today at 4:00 p.m. Defendant John Pharis remains a fugitive.

The one count indictment, which was filed on September 6, 2012 and unsealed earlier today, charges the nine defendants with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), and 846. If convicted, the defendants each face a statutory maximum sentence of up to twenty years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Thanks to the outstanding cooperation between federal and state law enforcement in Delaware and South Florida, we were able to bring down this interstate oxycodone drug trafficking ring that operated in Delaware and Florida for more than two years. The spread of oxycodone is a serious and deadly problem in our communities, and we stand united across state lines in our resolve to end this epidemic.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “This multi-state investigation shows that Florida is still a major source for diverted pharmaceutical drugs to other states. The Miami Field Division will continue to work with other DEA offices along with our state and local agencies to close down this pipeline to ensure that these medicines go to legitimate patients.”

Vito S. Guarino, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Division stated, “This indictment is the result of the combined efforts of DEA, the Delaware State Police, New Castle County Police Department, Newark Delaware Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, Delaware Division of Parole and Probation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Their dedication and professionalism has resulted in the indictment of a drug organization operating in Delaware and Florida. The illegal sale of prescription controlled substances is a serious and growing threat to the public health and safety. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute individuals found diverting prescription controlled substances from legitimate medical purposes to unlawful uses that harm the public.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the DEA, both here and in Delaware. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office - Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force (MADTF), the Florida Department of Health, the Delray Beach Police Department, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. In addition, Mr. Ferrer noted the substantial assistance provided by the Delaware State Police, New Castle County Police Department, Newark Delaware Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, and the Delaware Division of Parole and Probation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rinku Tribuiani.

An indictment is only an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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