FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
October 1, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW JERSEY DRUG DEALER PLEADS TO SELLING LARGE QUANTITIES OF OXYCODONE IN OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND
Amount of Oxycodone Sold in Just 15 Months Equals 400 to 700 Kilograms of Marijuana
Baltimore, Maryland - Joseph Bimonte, age 45, of Freehold, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, also known as Oxycontin, Roxicodone and Percocet, to conspirators who resold the drugs in Ocean City, Maryland, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“The illegal diversion of prescription drugs can lead to permanent injury and even death for users,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his plea agreement, law enforcement began investigating the illicit distribution of oxycodone in the Ocean City, Maryland area in April 2007. They learned that a drug dealer was selling hundreds of oxycodone pills a month and that the dealer’s source of supply was an individual in New Jersey. In July, an undercover police officer bought three pills of oxycodone from the dealer and surveillance revealed that the dealer had met with Bimonte immediately before the sale.
On July 19, 2007 the undercover police officer received an unsolicited telephone call from Bimonte. During a series of phone calls, Bimonte agreed to supply the undercover officer with additional pills. That evening, Bimonte sold ten 40 mg Oxycontin pills for $250 to the undercover officer. The next day, Bimonte called the undercover officer and offered to supply him with as many as 200 80 mg of pills for $30 a piece. Bimonte also offered to front the pills and said that dealing drugs “was about making money, not getting high.” Bimonte also described to the undercover officer his drug dealing with several other Maryland drug dealers.
In total, from May 2007 to August 2008, Bimonte sold tens of thousands of milligrams of oxycodone to the undercover police officer and others - the equivalent of 400 to 700 kilograms of marijuana.
Bimonte faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg has scheduled sentencing for January 29, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ocean City Police Department for their investigative work and thanked Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd and his office for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Mushtaq Gunja and Robert R. Harding, who are prosecuting the case.