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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Drug Charge

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Johanna Sanchez Rodriquez, 40, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and obtain through fraud controlled substances, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that between December 2013 and April 2015, co-defendant Brandon Coburn, a licensed nurse practitioner who is legally authorized to prescribe controlled substances, provided fraudulent Fentanyl prescriptions to Sanchez Rodriquez and nine other co-defendants. Those prescriptions, however, were not used for a legitimate medical purposes and instead were filled by Sanchez Rodriquez and others and sold on the street in the Buffalo area. Sanchez Rodriquez filled a total of 31 prescriptions including oxycodone and fentanyl.

Sanchez Rodriquez is the first of the 11 defendants charged in this investigation to be convicted. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated December 2, 2016