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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 


June 16, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Three Wheeling Residents Arrested
In Conjunction with “Operation Pill Broker”

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — Three Wheeling, West Virginia, residents were arrested on charges contained in an Indictment returned by the Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia, on June 2, 2009.

United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that:

FRANK L. BURDETT, age 40; WILLARD HUMES, age 62; and ALICE SCHOOLCRAFT, age 56, were named in a seven-count Indictment which reflects law enforcement’s focus on prosecuting individuals who illegally sell prescription drugs, as set forth in the Northern District’s initiative “Operation Pill Broker.”

BURDETT, HUMES, and SCHOOLCRAFT were each named in Count One of the Indictment alleging that they conspired to distribute oxycodone from December of 2008 to May 4, 2009, in Wheeling.

BURDETT and HUMES were both named in Counts Two and Three of the Indictment alleging that they conspired to engage in interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprise beginning from December of 2008 to April 28, 2009, from Wheeling, West Virginia, to Martins Ferry, Ohio; and aided and abetted in the distribution of oxycodone on January 9, 2009, in Wheeling.

BURDETT was named in Count Four of the Indictment alleging that he attempted to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute on May 4, 2009, in Wheeling; and was named in Count Five of the Indictment alleging that he distributed a counterfeit substance purported to oxycodone on May 4, 2009, in Wheeling.

SCHOOLCRAFT was named in Count Six of the Indictment alleging that she attempted to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute on May 4, 2009, in Wheeling; and was named in Count Seven of the Indictment alleging that she distributed a counterfeit substance purported to oxycodone on May 4, 2009, in Wheeling.

The Indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation wherein the United States intends to seek the forfeiture of $950.00 in United States Currency seized from BURDETT and HUMES in Wheeling on May 4, 2009; and a money judgment in the amount of at least $10,000.

The defendants will have their arraignments on Friday, June 19, 2009, in Wheeling before Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 on Count One of the Indictment and on each of Counts Three through Seven of the Indictment; a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two of the Indictment.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr. The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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