LONGVIEW MAN SENTENCED FOR ROLE IN SW WASHINGTON PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE NETWORK
Defendant Illegally Sold Oxycodone and Dilaudid Near High School
RICHARD L. BOPP, 27, of Longview, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to a year and a day in prison, and six years of supervised release for Distribution of Oxycodone and Hydromorphone, commonly known as Dilaudid. When he pleaded guilty on September 25, 2007, BOPP admitted that during 2007 he sold Oxycodone and Dilaudid pills to others from his residence in Longview. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess.
BOPP was indicted in August 2007, as part of a coordinated law enforcement effort to address a growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Southwest Washington. Oxycodone and Dilaudid are narcotic pain medications that are highly addictive. During the course of this eight month investigation, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force members used undercover agents, officers and informants to purchase the narcotics. Many of the transactions were recorded on video and audio.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 6 million Americans are currently abusing controlled substance prescription drugs – that is more than the number abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined. Researchers at the Center for Disease Control report that opiate prescription pain killers cause more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin. Cowlitz County has seen increasing numbers of overdoses and deaths from prescription narcotics.
BOPP’s distribution activity was within 1,000 feet of a public secondary school, Robert A. Long High School in Longview, so he faced increased penalties.
The cases were investigated by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Today’s arrests involved officers and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Office, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, the Longview Police Department, the Kelso Police Department, the Castle Rock Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the Washington State Department of Corrections.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald J. Friedman.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.