News and Press Releases

OREGON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ACQUIRING DRUGS BY SUBTERFUGE
Oxycodone Acquired Via The Internet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2008

CHRISTOPHER KING, 26, of Medford, Oregon, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to the felony offense of Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Misrepresentation, Deception, and Subterfuge as a result of purchasing oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, over the internet. The offense is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to court documents, in January 2006, KING went on-line from his home and located an internet pharmaceutical web site offering oxycodone for sale. Oxycodone is a highly addictive and highly abused prescription pain killer. The internet web site, known as “Pharmavet” purported to be offering the drug from Mexico. KING began placing orders for oxycodone on the web site, and wired cash via Western Union from his home in the United States to a bank account in Tijuana, Mexico. KING placed numerous orders with Pharmavet for 80 mg. pills of oxycodone -- the strongest dosage of oxycodone -- between January and September 2006. The orders ranged from 20 to 50 pills per shipment, at a cost of $50.00 to $58.00 per pill. KING wired to Mexico a total of $98,445.97 in return for the oxycodone. The oxycodone arrived from the San Diego/San Ysidro area via overnight mail in plain packages with no markings, and the pills were contained in a plastic baggie in a white unmarked envelope. KING purchased approximately 2,000 pills in this manner before being detected by law enforcement. During this period, KING had no valid prescription for oxycodone, and was acquiring all of these drugs in violation of law.

It is a violation of federal law to acquire controlled substances via the internet, or otherwise, and to possess such substances, without a valid and lawful prescription.

Investigation of this matter is continuing.

Sentencing is set before U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle in Tacoma, Washington, on July 10, 2008.

The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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