Oxycodone Traffickers Face Federal Charges
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging numerous individuals with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The following individuals were charged in the federal criminal complaint:
Edwin Morales, a.k.a. "Mikey" (51, Palm Bay, FL)
Rafael Rivera, a.k.a. "Chapo" (39, Palm Bay, FL)
Juan Luis Collazo-Pinto, a.k.a. "Pacho" (28, Holyoke, MA)
Carlos Alberto Cotto-Lopez, a.k.a. "Papito" (24, Holyoke, MA)
Jose Manuel Garcia-Santiago, a.k.a. "Cenizo" (28, Puerto Rico, Holyoke, MA)
Edwin Miguel Negron (26, Holyoke, MA)
Heriberto Morales-Hernandez (44, Holyoke, MA)
Isaac Matta-Robles (54, Miami, FL)
Jose Antonio Ortiz-Gonzalez, a.k.a. "Chelo" (49, Puerto Rico)
Francisca Maria Paez (27, Kissimmee, FL)
According to the complaint, Edwin Morales and Rafael Rivera managed a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) that operated in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts. The conspirators fraudulently obtained prescriptions for various controlled substances, mostly oxycodone. Members of the DTO traveled to Florida from Puerto Rico and Massachusetts, and posed as patients at various pain management clinics. These “clinic patients” would obtain prescriptions for oxycodone and provide them to Edwin Morales or Rafael Rivera. Morales and Rivera then filled the prescriptions at pharmacies in the Middle District of Florida. On a number of occasions, Edwin Morales and Rafael Rivera mailed the oxycodone to co-conspirators in Holyoke, Massachusetts. After the oxycodone was sold in Massachusetts, the drug proceeds were deposited at local banks and later withdrawn from bank branches in the Palm Bay area.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Palm Bay Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel W. Eckhart.