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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Two members of Indiana family plead guilty to pain pill conspiracy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two members of a family from Indiana pleaded guilty today to an oxycodone conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Steven Jurick, 57, of Valparaiso, and his mother-in-law, Linda Vannatter, 74, of Hammond, entered their guilty pleas to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

Jurick and Vannatter admitted to conspiring with each other from approximately January 2016 until April 13, 2016, to provide oxycodone to an individual who distributed the pain pills in Logan County. That individual contacted either Jurick or Vannatter on several occasions and met with either or both of them in Indiana to obtain oxycodone. Vannatter admitted that on March 15, 2016, she sold 231 thirty milligram and 17 twenty milligram oxycodone pills to that individual, who on that occasion was acting as a confidential informant. Jurick admitted that on April 13, 2016, he sold 150 thirty milligram oxycodone pills to that individual, who on that occasion was again acting as a confidential informant. The drug deals both took place in Indiana.

Jurick and Vannatter each face up to 20 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 15, 2017.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John J. Frail is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District. 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Updated December 8, 2016