FORMER DRUG COUNSELOR AT RAINIER BEACH HIGH SCHOOL CONVICTED OF DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY
Sold Oxycodone to Confidential Informant and Others on Multiple Occasions
ROBERT HENRY SMITH, 59, of Seattle, Washington, was convicted this afternoon of Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone, and four counts of Distribution of Oxycodone, and one count of Possession of Oxycodone with intent to distribute. The jury deliberated about an hour following a two and a half day trial. SMITH was employed as a Drug and Alcohol Intervention Specialist at Rainier Beach High School in the Seattle School District. None of the drug sales occurred on Seattle School District Property and none of the drug sales involved students at the school. Testimony at trial revealed that SMITH took calls from drug customers during the school day, and left the school to make drug sales at locations a few blocks away. SMITH faces up to twenty years in prison for each count when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly on January 6, 2011.
SMITH was indicted in December 2009. The investigation involved a series of direct drug transactions in November and December 2009. SMITH made a series of sales of Oxycodone to a person working with law enforcement. SMITH also made sales to other people during the course of the investigation. The testimony revealed SMITH was part of a drug distribution network involving a number of people, with SMITH selling Oxycodone to addicts, and to other drug traffickers who then re-sold the Oxycodone. At trial, one of SMITH’s drug customers testified that during a single drug transaction, SMITH sold $10,000 of Oxycodone pills to another drug distributor. Other customers testified that they purchased Oxycodone pills from SMITH in amounts ranging from $50 to $65 per 80 milligram Oxycodone tablet, and received a price reduction for buying in quantities of 50 or 100 tablets.
In her closing statement Assistant United States Attorney Lisca Borichewski told the jurors SMITH “was a drug and alcohol counselor whose job was to make sure kids were getting help for their addictions. Instead he was feeding other people’s addictions.”
National statistics show an increasing level of unlawful drug diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, as well as overdoses of such drugs resulting in rising medical costs. Studies reflect that hospital admissions attributable to prescription drug abuse and overdose have increased 500% over the last 10 years, and are currently costing the United States more than $1 billion dollars in health care costs each year.
The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisca Borichewski.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.