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Press Release

Dental Office Manager Sentenced for Fraudulently Obtaining Over 100,000 Hydrocodone Pills

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Donna Byrd Talley, 54, of Yorktown, was sentenced today to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after being convicted at trial on charges of acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and mail fraud.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Talley worked as a long-time office manager for Dr. Steven Becker, a Hampton dentist. Talley had control over Dr. Becker’s bank accounts and was responsible for all office administration. From 2002 through 2011, Talley used Dr. Becker’s DEA license to fraudulently obtain over 100,000 pills of hydrocodone from two dental supply companies. Talley distributed the hydrocodone to her husband and others and used it to feed her own addiction. In 2011, Talley made various cash deposits to bank accounts she owned or controlled in amounts over $7,000.

On Aug. 18, 2011, investigators with the Virginia Department of Health Professions and the Virginia State Police interviewed Talley, who admitted to ordering hydrocodone. Later that same day, an investigator recovered a pill bottle containing hydrocodone from Talley’s residence, matching shipments of hydrocodone ordered by Talley and received by Dr. Becker’s office two days earlier. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Richmond District Office Diversion Unit.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; and Ruth A. Carter, Diversion Program Manager (DEA), made the announcement after the defendant was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian J. Samuels and Megan M. Cowles prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:16-cr-21.

Updated February 28, 2017

Drug Trafficking