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Press Release

Nine Sentenced To Prison For Distribution Of Oxycodone

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell has sentenced nine individuals to federal prison for conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone.  Ten individuals were charged by criminal complaint on April 9, 2013. Nine were arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty for their roles in this case. One individual remains a fugitive.

According to the court documents, Edwin Morales-Hernandez and Rafael Rivera managed a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) that fraudulently obtained prescriptions for various controlled substances, mostly Oxycodone. Members of the DTO traveled to Florida from Puerto Rico and Massachusetts, posing as patients at various pain management clinics.  These “clinic patients” would obtain prescriptions for Oxycodone and provide them to Morales or Rivera, who filled the prescriptions at pharmacies in the Middle District of Florida, including Encore Pharmacy, where Francisca Maria Paez worked as a licensed pharmacy technician. On a number of occasions, Morales-Hernandez and Rivera mailed the Oxycodone to co-conspirators in Holyoke, Massachusetts. After the Oxycodone was sold in Massachusetts, the drug proceeds were deposited in local banks and later withdrawn from bank branches in the Palm Bay, Florida area.

Morales-Hernandez (52, Palm Bay, FL) was sentenced to seven years and six months in federal prison. Carlos Alberto Cotto-Lopez, a.k.a. “Papito”, (25, Holyoke, MA) was sentenced to five years in federal prison. Paez (28, Kissimmee, FL) was sentenced to four years in federal prison. Heriberto Morales-Hernandez (45, Holyoke, MA) was sentenced to three years and six months in federal prison. Jose Manuel Garcia-Santiago, a.k.a. “Cenizo”, (29, Holyoke, MA) was sentenced to three years and two months in federal prison. Isaac Matta-Robles (55, Miami, FL) was sentenced to two years and ten months in federal prison. Edwin Miguel Negron (27, Holyoke, MA) was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison. Jose Antonio Ortiz-Gonzalez, a.k.a. “Chelo”, (50, Puerto Rico) and Juan Luis Collazo-Pinto, a.k.a. “Pacho”, (29, Holyoke, MA) were each sentenced to two years in federal prison. Rafael Rivera, a.k.a. “Chapo,” (39, Palm Bay) remains a fugitive.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Palm Bay Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Haas.

Updated January 26, 2015