Leader of prescription fraud ring sentenced to over 3 years in federal prison
Defendants conspired to obtain controlled substances by misrepresentation
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today, Brandon Fuller, 27, of Chicago, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II, after having pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to acquire controlled substances by misrepresentation, conspiracy to commit identification document fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
“Addressing the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Minkler. “We intend to prosecute fully, those individuals who are fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs, and selling them. Too many lives and families are affected and destroyed daily due to opioid drug abuse.”
Brandon Fuller was the leader of a conspiracy to obtain controlled substances – including oxycodone and promethazine – through fraudulent prescriptions and counterfeit driver’s licenses. At his direction, fellow Chicago residents and co-defendants James Trotter, 30, Dazhona Hodge, 24, and Jessica Chevere, 31, obtained and used numerous doctors’ names, DEA registration numbers, and medical license numbers without authorization in order to create fraudulent prescriptions. In addition, the defendants obtained and used counterfeit identifications, including driver’s licenses, together with the fraudulent prescriptions, to obtain controlled substances from pharmacies located in various states. In 2018 and 2019, Fuller and his co-defendants traveled throughout Indiana, including in the Indianapolis area, as well as to other states, to fill fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances, together with counterfeit driver’s licenses.
Upon the execution of multiple search warrants, federal agents seized and searched laptops, phones, and electronic accounts from the Fuller, Trotter, and Hodge. The electronic devices contained templates for fraudulent prescriptions, pictures of fraudulent prescriptions, templates for counterfeit driver’s licenses, pictures of counterfeit driver’s licenses, and other evidence showing the production of both fraudulent prescriptions and counterfeit IDs. Fuller’s laptop alone contained information regarding over 150 fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances between February 2018 and March 2019.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
“The sentencing of Mr. Fuller was just and necessary for the citizens of Indiana,” said DEA Indianapolis District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Michael Gannon. During this high level investigation, Mr. Fuller was identified as a ring leader who manufactured and produced fraudulent prescriptions to multiple states, to include, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Throughout the course of this investigation, agents identified numerous physicians that Mr. Fuller victimized so he and his associates could illegally obtain Oxycodone, Adderall, and Promethazine with Codeine from pharmacies throughout the United States. In addition, Mr. Fuller conducted these illegal activities while he was on house arrest for previously manufacturing fraudulent prescriptions.”
“Drug trafficking rings like Mr. Fuller’s have been a major concern to law enforcement because they utilize any means necessary to take advantage of physicians and pharmacies in order to obtain controlled substances. DEA will continue to utilize all available resources to investigate and arrest offenders like Mr. Fuller and his associates who prey on people with substance abuse issues. DEA commends the outstanding work that was done by the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana, and our federal, state and local counterparts,” said Gannon.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Cindy J. Cho, who prosecuted this case for the government, Fuller will serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence. His co-defendants have all filed plea agreements in this case.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to target and prosecute or pursue civil remedies against those doctors, pharmacies, and medical providers who are furthering the opioid epidemic by illegally diverting opioids for their own profit, as well as those individuals who divert such drugs through robbery. The office is also committed to investigating and prosecuting those individuals engaged in fraudulent activity involving the use of bogus devices and identity fraud. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Sections 3.6 and 4.5.