New Jersey Drug Dealer Sentenced to over 6 Years in Prison for Selling Large Quantities of Oxycodone in Ocean City, Maryland

Sold Thousands of Oxycodone Pills in Just 15 Months

October 6, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Joseph Bimonte, age 45, of Freehold, New Jersey, late yesterday to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, also known as Oxycontin, Roxicodone and Percocet, to conspirators who resold the drugs in Ocean City, Maryland.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; and Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Ocean City Police Department.

“The illegal diversion of prescription drugs can lead to permanent injury and even death for users,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

“Unfortunately, more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined,” stated Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis, “and the effects of the abuse can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs. We in law enforcement will go after those who divert prescription drugs and sell them on the street with the same intensity as we go after those who sell cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin”.

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. Over the course of the next year, Bimonte made several sales of Oxycontin to the undercover officer. Bimonte also offered to front the pills and said that dealing drugs “was about making money, not getting high.” In tape recorded conversations, Bimonte also described to the undercover officer his methods of obtaining the pills he sold, including from which pharmacies it was easier to get pills. Bimonte further described his drug distribution network, identifying by name several of the drug dealer to whom he routinely sold pills.

From May 2007 to August 2008, Bimonte sold tens of thousands of milligrams of oxycodone to the undercover police officer and others.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ocean City Police Department and Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution, and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Mushtaq Gunja and Robert R. Harding, who prosecuted the case.

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