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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Role In Oxycodone Distribution Ring

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to illegally obtain and distribute oxycodone in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Matthew Policarpio, 29, of Newark, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. His federal prison term will be served consecutively to his five-year state prison term for car theft.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Using confidential sources, physical surveillance, and recorded text messages and telephone calls, investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) discovered that members and suppliers of a drug trafficking organization secured prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances from various doctors in New Jersey, filled them at pharmacies in Belleville and elsewhere, and sold the drugs for a profit. The investigation identified Policarpio as a member of the drug trafficking organization.

Policarpio admitted that from Feb. 5, 2014, to Aug. 13, 2014, he personally purchased pills containing oxycodone from conspirators and then sold the pills to others. He admitted that in one instance, he arranged to buy 180 pills containing oxycodone from conspirators on June 12, 2014.  He traveled to a pharmacy in East Orange, New Jersey, with conspirators and gave them $450, which they used to purchase 180 Endocet pills from the pharmacy. The pills were then provided to Policarpio, who resold them.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, has a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. The Endocet pills obtained and re-sold by Policarpio each contained 10 milligrams of oxycodone.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Policarpio to three years of supervised release. His federal prison term will be served consecutively to the five-year state prison term he is now serving for car theft.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the DEA’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the OCDETF/Narcotics Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.  This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Defense counsel: Jef Henninger Esq., Tinton Falls, N.J

Prescription Drugs
Press Release Number: 
Updated December 7, 2016