News and Press Releases

News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

December 20, 2010



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A U.S. District Court judge today sentenced Edward F. Melise, of Johnston, to 46 months in federal prison for conspiracy, possession and distribution of OxyContin. Melise, 60, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to distribute seven hundred (700) oxycodone pills; two counts of distributing a total of three hundred ten (310) oxycodone pills; and one count of possession with the intent to distribute forty (40) oxycodone pills.

Following his imprisonment, Melise will remain on supervised release for three years, during which the court ordered he seek gambling addiction counseling.

            The sentence, which was imposed by U.S District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

            At the time of the defendant’s guilty plea, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth P. Madden told the court that from December 2006 through November 2009, Melise obtained, in varying quantities and on a monthly basis, OxyContin pills containing oxycodone in eighty milligram strength via prescriptions.  Records of the Rhode Island Department of Health indicate that during this time Melise obtained 5,140 pills through prescriptions. 

Based upon information developed through court authorized electronic surveillance, Drug Task Force officers and agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believed that Melise was selling some of his prescription OxyContin pills to an individual in Providence. Two sales of a total of 130 OxyContin pills for $4,500, on November 4, 2009, were electronically monitored and witnessed by investigators from the DEA Task Force. During the second transaction, Melise also showed the buyer a bottle which he said contained an additional 40 pills which he planned to sell.

Melise was arrested on December 7, 2009, and charged with selling OxyContin pills. Two weeks prior to his arrest, Melise picked up a prescription of 180 OxyContin pills. When questioned, Melise told agents he sold the pills for $30 each. 

Melise, who was been free on secured bond since his arrest, was ordered to report on or before January 11, 2011, to the U.S. Marshals Service or the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence.

The Drug Task Force, which investigated this matter, is comprised of agents and law enforcement officers from the DEA, ATF, IRS, ICE, Rhode Island State Police, and Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Newport, Warwick and Woonsocket police departments.



Contact: 401-709-5357


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