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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Rochester Man of Trafficking in Illegal Prescription Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that James Marsh, 73, of Rochester, N.Y., was found guilty at trial before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, oxycodone, and to acquire and obtain possession of oxycodone by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000 or both.

“This case demonstrates one of the ways in which powerful and addictive prescription opiates enter the black market world of illegal narcotics traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “With the entire nation confronting the scourge of opiate abuse, this Office will continue to prosecute those who contribute to this epidemic regardless of age or status of the defendant.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Field and Charles Moynihan, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the Government’s evidence showed that the conspiracy began in November of 2008 and continued through March of 2010. During that time frame, members of the conspiracy acquired oxycodone through the use of fraudulent prescriptions and then distributed it.

Witnesses for the Government detailed how they acquired Oxycontin tablets and provided them to the defendant. Marsh, who also used the names “Joe Black” and “Cowboy,” requested that another co-conspirator who held the position of office manager at a doctor’s office, write a prescription for sixty 80 milligram tablets of Oxycontin in exchange for a cash payment of between $340.00 and $380.00. The defendant also requested that the prescriptions be written in the names of other co-conspirators, who acted as fraudulent patients. Furthermore, Marsh would drive the fraudulent patients to the various pharmacies in the Rochester area to fill the prescriptions. The defendant then took the Oxycontin tablets from fraudulent patients and paid them $100.00.

Over 50 such prescriptions were written during the course of the conspiracy. In addition, the New York State Medicaid program was utilized by the conspirators to pay for the prescriptions.   

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration under the direction of James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division, and the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the direction of Acting Director Amy Held.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 29, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Larimer.
Updated December 2, 2014