Oxycodone Trafficker Convicted by Federal Jury
Assistant U. S. Attorney Orlando Gutierrez (619) 546-6958
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – November 29, 2017
SAN DIEGO – Edwin Fuller, a member of a drug trafficking organization that illegally acquired and distributed at least 50,000 oxycodone tablets valued at $1.5 million during a three-year span, was convicted by a federal jury today following a three-day trial.
Fuller was part of what is believed to be the San Diego region’s most prolific and well-organized oxycodone ring. The organization acquired oxycodone via fraudulent prescriptions and phony California identification cards and distributed the pills across the country. One significant seizure involved 7,000 pills sent by this organization to Columbus, Ohio.
Fuller is the fourth key member of the organization that has been convicted in the case so far. The investigation is ongoing.
Two coconspirators testified at trial that Fuller was a recruiter and a “filler” who walked into pharmacies to get bogus prescriptions filled. Fuller received the oxycodone and distributed it to others. Evidence at trial proved that over a six-month period Fuller was able to successfully acquire more than 11,000 30-milligram tablets of oxycodone. The traffickers obtained pills for about $2 each from the pharmacies and then sold them for a street value of up to $30 each.
One coconspirator testified that she was “thankful” for being arrested because she would have died as a result of her addition to oxycodone.
U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said prosecution of this organization and others like it is a priority for this office because their greed is feeding the addiction crisis in California and other regions of the United States.
“Just yesterday I heard from parents who tragically lost their son to opiate addiction. This case demonstrates that we are holding pill peddlers accountable for the havoc they are wreaking on our country,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. “We will not tolerate drug trafficking rings that seek to profit by exploiting and endangering people who struggle with substance use disorder.”
Earlier today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced new resources and stepped up efforts to address the drug and opioid crisis, including over $12 million in grant funding to assist law enforcement in combating illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioid and a directive to all U.S. Attorneys to designate an Opioid Coordinator to work closely with prosecutors, and with other federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement to coordinate and optimize federal opioid prosecutions in every district.
Fuller is scheduled to be sentenced on February 15, 2018 at 2:15 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
DEFENDANTS Case Number 16cr0867
Edwin Fuller Age: 39 Los Angeles
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(a) (1) and 846
Maximum penalty: 20 years in prison and $1 million fine