mcLean man pleads guilty to robbing pharmacies for illegal pain medication
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Jonathan Ross Carlton, 23, of McLean, Va., pleaded guilty late Monday to robbery and possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.
Carlton faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, along with restitution, fines, and a term of supervised release when he is sentenced on Feb. 4, 2011.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Carlton admitted to robbing or attempting to rob five pharmacies in Northern Virginia and Maryland during July and August 2010. Carlton entered the pharmacies and presented a note claiming to have a gun and requested 80 milligram Oxycontin pills. On July 20, 2010 at a CVS in Fairfax County, Carlton obtained 2200 Oxycontin pills, with a retail value in excess of $30,000. Carlton was apprehended after attempting to rob a pharmacy in Bethesda, Md. A search warrant executed at his residence uncovered the clothes that Carlton wore at the robberies, along with the note that he used and driving directions to the pharmacies. Carlton used a quantity of the pills himself and sold the rest.
This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation (Operation “Cotton Candy”), which has been focusing on the illegal distribution by numerous doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and patients of pain medication, including the very potent, expensive, and widely-abused oxycodone, also known by the brand name of “OxyContin”. This OCDETF matter, which involves support from the FBI, DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive (ATF), Department of Defense (DOD), Virginia State Police, Internal Revenue Service, and Buchanan, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Tazewell, and Warren Counties, and Manassas City, Virginia, Police Departments, as well as numerous other state and local law enforcement in Virginia and elsewhere, has secured more than 200 drug-trafficking convictions and guilty pleas.
This particular case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Ben’Ary is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.