News and Press Releases

Members of Upstate Oxycodone Conspiracy Receive 70 Months

July 3, 2013

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Steven Michael Rhodes, age 33, and Heather DeYoung, age 28, both of Duncan, South Carolina, were sentenced July 2, 2013, in federal court in Anderson, for their involvement in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 846.  Senior United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr. of Anderson sentenced Rhodes and DeYoung to 70 months imprisonment. 

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Rhodes worked with Joshua Balkind, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy, in making fraudulent prescriptions for the drug roxicodone.  Balkind and Rhodes used various individuals to go into pharmacies in upstate South Carolina and in North Carolina to pass the counterfeit prescriptions. Rhodes and Balkind would pay the prescription passer with a small quantity of pills for passing the prescription.  Rhodes and Balkind would then sell and/or use the remaining pills received. Heather DeYoung worked for the conspiracy as a passer and manufacturer of the fraudulent prescriptions.  In May 2011 in Union, South Carolina, DeYoung attempted to pass a counterfeit prescription, but the pharmacist recognized that the prescription was a fake.  The physician who had allegedly written the prescription had been dead for several years.  The pharmacist called the Union County Sheriff=s Office and they arrested DeYoung at the pharmacy.

The case was investigated by agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.



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