d.C. man convicted of illegal prescription drug distribution
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Arthur Bernard Taper, 46, of Washington, D.C., was convicted Tuesday afternoon by a federal jury of conspiring to distribute oxycodone. This case stemmed from the ongoing Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation named Operation “Cotton Candy,” which has secured more than 200 convictions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patients and drug dealers relating to the distribution and use of pain pills.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Taper faces a maximum penalty of 20 years when he is sentenced on Feb. 11, 2011.
Taper was indicted on Sept. 23, 2010, on charges of conspiring to distribute oxycodone from April 2008 through April 2010. According to court records and evidence at trial, Taper used fraudulent prescriptions to obtain Oxycontin pills from pharmacies in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Va. He would then sell the pills to other drug dealers at huge profits.
Operation “Cotton Candy” is focused on the illegal distribution by numerous doctors, pharmacists, nurses and patients of pain medication, including the very potent, expensive and widely abused oxycodone. This OCDETF matter is supported by the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Department of Defense; Virginia State Police; Internal Revenue Service; and Buchanan, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Tazewell, and Warren counties and Manassas City police departments, as well as numerous other state and local law enforcement in Virginia and elsewhere.
This particular case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Kondi Kleinman and Assistant United States Attorney Gene Rossi prosecuted 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.