Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Newton, MA man caught with over 700 80mg Oxycontin pills

June 30, 2009

A Newton man was arraigned and held on $100,000 bail yesterday on drug trafficking charges
after police found more than 700 Oxycontin pills at his home, said Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.

Dimitrios Paicopoulos, 27, of 9 Cross Hill Road, was arraigned yesterday in Newton District Court on charges of trafficking more than 100 grams of Oxycontin.

Judge Dyanne Klein ordered Paicopoulos held on $100,000 cash bail and scheduled a July 24 probable cause hearing.

Paicopoulos was arrested Friday at noon at his home by Newton Police and the Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force, according to a press release from Leone's office.

In a search of the home, police found $8,000 in a bedroom, as well as several vacuum-seal bags and a box of sandwich bags. An additional $2,975 was discovered in a wallet in the living room, according to the statement.

Officers said they found seven 100-packs of 80mg Oxycontin pills, with a street value of more than $55,000, in the garage, hidden inside a lawnmower grass catch bag, according to the press release.

"Acting on numerous complaints by residents who observed suspected drug activity in their neighborhood, the Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force conducted a thorough and extensive investigation into the complaints, resulting in a significant drug bust of over 700 Oxycontin pills with a street value of more than $55,000," Leone said. "I commend the Suburban Middlesex County Drug Task Force for their great work in investigating this case, as well as the residents who alerted the police to the suspected drug activity."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Port St. Lucie, FL police make biggest prescription drug bust in years

July 9, 2008
Police have made the biggest undercover prescription painkiller bust in about a decade, an arrest that comes after three dozen overdose deaths since 2007, a sergeant said Tuesday.

Tiffany A. Kennedy, 31, of Palm Beach Gardens, faces a felony trafficking in Oxycodone charge after a deal July 3 at a McDonald's restaurant on Southwest St. Lucie West Boulevard that resulted in the seizure of more than 440 OxyContin pills, Sgt. Derek Brieske said.

"If you consider that law enforcement gets an average of 5 to 8 percent of the drugs that are out there, we've got an epidemic," Brieske said. "Certainly with the number of deaths that we have we have a situation that is out of control."

He said there have been 12 overdose deaths "associated with Oxycodone and OxyContin" in Port St. Lucie this year.

"In 2007 we had 24," he said.

OxyContin is a time release drug that can produce a powerful high when crushed and snorted or injected. Some illicit drug users favor OxyContin over heroin because the quality is known, and there's no risk of impurities.

"The high is unlike heroin in the sense that it's quicker, it lasts longer and they don't have to worry about getting sold a bad batch," Brieske said.

In many cases, the drug is obtained through prescription fraud or "doctor shopping," a practice in which a patient gets prescriptions from multiple doctors without the other doctors' knowledge.

Police learned of Kennedy through other arrests, and an investigator called her posing as a potential client. Arrangements ultimately were made to sell 200 OxyContin and 20 Oxycodone pills for $7,130.

Kennedy arrived in a sport utility vehicle and was arrested after a smaller exchange of cash for pills, though investigators ended up seizing more than 440 OxyContin pills. Police are investigating where Kennedy got the pills.

"If we had this many people dying from gunshots I think that we would have the National Guard in here," Brieske said.

He said over the past four or five months, police have seized more than 2,100 pills.

Brieske said most of the pills likely are coming from "pain clinics." People with legitimate physical ailments can get 200 or so pills prescribed to them.

"That pill bottle that they might have paid $400 or $500 for automatically becomes $5,000 sitting in their hand," he said. "They can turn around and sell those in a short amount of time like the undercover bust that was demonstrated at the McDonald's."