Father And Son Pharmacists Plead Guilty To Drug Charges
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that R. Wayne Murphy, age 63, and J. Kevin Murphy, age 36, father and son pharmacists from Boston, Georgia pled guilty today before the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Judge in Macon, Georgia. Wayne Murphy pled guilty to introducing adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce; Kevin Murphy pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone.
The investigation in this case revealed two criminal schemes had taken place at Boston Pharmacy in Boston, Georgia, where the Murphys were pharmacists. In the first scheme, Wayne Murphy obtained prescription drugs, such as Advair, Crestor and Plavix, in Costa Rica, smuggled them into the United States, repackaged them in Boston Pharmacy bottles with preexisting labels, and sold them to his customers for a profit.
“Wayne Murphy abused his valuable position of trust in the community,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. “Although testing revealed that the prescription drugs he sold to his unsuspecting customers had the active ingredients for the same drugs manufactured in the United States, the only drugs a pharmacist should ever sell are those which have been safeguarded by our regulatory system from the moment they are manufactured until the moment they are delivered to the consumer. Greed is never a reason to put a patient at risk.”
In the second scheme at Boston Pharmacy, Kevin Murphy legally purchased large quantities of controlled substances, including hydrocodone and Xanax, from wholesale drug companies and then sold them illegally to drug dealers at a steep profit. From May through November of 2009, Kevin Murphy admitted the amount of illegal drugs attributable to him was 57,393 hydrocodone pills and 4,000 Xanax pills.
“Kevin Murphy used his pharmacy license to act as a simple drug dealer,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. “My office will vigorously prosecute all drug dealers, whether they are working on a street corner or working behind a counter.”
The maximum penalty for introducing adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce is three (3) years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00, or both, followed by a term of supervised release of up to one (1) year. The maximum penalty for possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone is ten (10) years in prison and a fine of $500,000.00, or both, followed by a term of supervised release of not more than three (3) years. In addition, as part of their plea agreements, the Murphys jointly agreed to forfeit $403,496.63 in illegal proceeds.
“I applaud the U.S. Attorney’s office on its successful efforts to bring closure to the case of Wayne and Kevin Murphy,” said C. Richard Allen, Director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency. “With these pleas, Thomas County and the surrounding areas are safer because of the loss of this major source of unlawfully distributed highly addictive prescription drugs.”
In entering their guilty pleas, the Murphys join two other individuals who pled guilty to felonies arising from the criminal conduct at Boston Pharmacy. On June 10, 2014, Arnolfo Capistran pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute Xanax for his role in Kevin Murphy’s scheme to resell controlled substances. And on May 5, 2014, Karen Dunlap, another former pharmacist at Boston Pharmacy, pled guilty to misprision of a felony.
“I appreciate all of the agencies that were involved and assisted Thomas County in the prosecution of this complicated case, especially the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Thomas County Sheriff R. Carlton Powell. “These guilty pleas help further my office’s mission to eradicate any illegal drug trafficking in our County, and they also help keep our citizens safe in the prescription drugs they purchase.”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the Thomas County Narcotics and Vice Division, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Peter Leary is handling the prosecution for the Government.
Sentencing for the Murphys will be held on January 14, 2015 at the U.S. District Court in Valdosta, Georgia.
Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Karen Moore at the United States Attorney’s Office at 478-752-3511.