Jury selection is expected to continue this morning for the alleged ringleader of an illegal pill network suspected of getting more than 100,000 oxycodone pills illegally from pharmacies from Lake Worth to Jupiter.
North Palm Beach resident Shane McKenney faces racketeering charges, along with more than 100 counts of trafficking in oxycodone. Jury selection in his case began Tuesday, and is expected to resume today.
McKenney was arrested in 2008, after an investigation which began while Palm Beach Gardens police were looking into a home burglary. Police who eventually arrested him say he had about 850 oxycodone pills, 100 Xanax pills, two semiautomatic handguns, $13,000 in cash and 500 fake prescription forms — known as “scripts” — in his home.
Police later arrested more than a dozen alleged members of McKenney’s network, mostly men in their 20s. They and McKenney were charged with trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.
Investigators say McKenney was supplying the other suspects with fake scripts he obtained on the Internet. The suspects would fill the scripts at small pharmacies throughout Palm Beach County. They would then return the drugs to McKenney, who would pay them back with a share.
The alleged drug ring obtained more than 100,000 oxycodone pills — they sell for about $25 each on the street — and 3,000 pills of Xanax, which is used to treat anxiety, according to police, who also say the group passed more than 500 illegal prescriptions.
Oxycodone is prescribed for pain relief associated with fractures, arthritis, and cancer pain. Oxycodone abusers often chew the tablets, or crush them and snort the powder.