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Posted: Friday, June 27th 2014 at 2:40pm

Several from NE Ga. among 9 people given federal drug sentences

By Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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ATLANTA - Several northeast Georgians were given federal sentences recently by a judge in Atlanta following a crackdown on the abuse and illegal sales of prescription drugs in north Georgia.

All eleven had pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute.

The nine who have been sentenced are from Cumming, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Lawrenceville, and Roswell.

The other two are from Cumming and are to be sentenced July 7.

“Many of the defendants sentenced were themselves addicts, some of whom became addicted after receiving a lawful prescription for oxycodone,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates. “Some of them even engaged in further criminal behavior to feed their own addiction. These criminal acts also perpetuated the addiction of others by putting the drugs on the street. It’s a terrible cycle.”

According Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Holly Worley forged prescriptions for oxycodone using the names of actual doctors. The remaining ten defendants would then present the forged prescriptions at numerous pharmacies throughout the Atlanta and North Georgia area to obtain what appeared to be legitimately obtained pain medication. Once the conspirators received the drugs, Worley and Jason Johns would deliver the drugs to others to have them sold on the streets. Worley rewarded the co-conspirators for the participation with either cash or a portion of their oxycodone pills.

All eleven defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute, and nine were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans on June 19 and 20:

• Holly Noel Worley, 29, of Cuming received a sentence of eight years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release;

• Jason Cody Johns, 30, of Gainesville received a sentence of eight years, seven months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release;

• Shayna Marie Massara, 23, of Alpharetta received a sentence of five years of probation with a condition of eight months of home confinement;

• Kelly Webb Ardizone, 26, of Cumming received a sentence of two years, three months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release;

• Michael Ardizone, 28, of Cumming received a sentence of one year in prison, in addition to receiving credit for an additional 18 months already served, to be followed by three years of supervised release;

• Keva Lee Hamrick, 23, of Cumming received a sentence of five years of probation;

• Andrew Derek Johnson, 30, of Lawrenceville received a sentence of two years in prison;

• Tyler Starnes Newsom, 24, of Suwanee received a sentence of two years, six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release;

• James Cory Linder, 24, of Roswell received a sentence of two years in prison.

James Brandon Sweatman, 27, and Brian Thompson Myers, 33, both of Cumming, are scheduled to be sentenced on July 7.

“This case demonstrates cycle of harm caused by the abuse of prescription drugs,” said Yates. “Through the combination of incarceration and substance abuse treatment, we hope to break this cycle so that the defendants can become productive members of society.”

Prescription drug abuse manifests itself in many different ways. Falsifying prescriptions, theft, or just purchasing pills on the street are some of the more popular methods of illegally obtaining oxycodone. However, many abusers of prescription drugs also obtain oxycodone from illegitimate pain clinics, known as “pill mills.”

“Illegitimate pain clinics prey on so-called patients who are addicted to opiates,” said Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Some of the doctors who dispense these addictive analgesics often operate under the guise of a stethoscope and a white coat, when in actuality they are nothing more than drug traffickers.”

In one recent “pill mill” prosecution, Jason Cole Votrobek and Roland Rafael Castellanos were non-physician owners of the ‘Atlanta Medical Group’ (AMG) medical clinic in Cartersville, Ga., which served as a front for the mass distribution of addictive pain killers.
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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