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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Opioid Traffickers Sentenced

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced that on November 12, 2019, 35 year-old Kentriss Thomas Rhodes, 33 year-old Ashley S. Fleming, and 45 year-old Antoine Sanders, all residents of Chicago, Illinois, were sentenced by District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (Oxycodone).

The investigation of Rhodes, Fleming and Sanders began on August 16, 2018, when the Council Bluffs Police Department responded to a call from the Madison Avenue Hy-Vee on a report of a fraudulent prescription being presented at the store’s pharmacy.

Council Bluffs Police arrested two individuals who had presented the forged prescription, and then obtained assistance from the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration determined that the two arrested persons were working for a Chicago organization that was sending out groups of people to obtain oxycodone by forging prescriptions and presenting them to area pharmacies.

Rhodes, Fleming, and Sanders used vulnerable adults from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to present forged prescriptions for the oxycodone. Using this method, Rhodes, Fleming, and Sanders obtained oxycodone from Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and other locations in Iowa, in addition to pharmacies in Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, and South Dakota. Rhodes, Fleming, and Sanders had obtained, or attempted to obtain, over 6,500 oxycodone pills through the use of fraudulent prescriptions during a nine month period.

As a result of their conduct, Rhodes was sentenced to 72 months in prison, Fleming was sentenced to 46 months in prison, and Sanders was sentenced to 110 months in prison. All three were also ordered to serve three years of Supervised Release once they are released from incarceration.

This case was investigated by Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; Nebraska State Patrol; Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Police Department; Iowa Division of Intelligence; Chicago, Illinois, Police Department; and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated November 14, 2019