Seven indicted in alleged oxycodone scheme – Wicked Local Woburn

Indictments were unsealed last week against seven individuals alleged to be part of a scheme involving oxycodone.

Named in the Middlesex County grand jury indictments are Howard Barter, Richard Bernier, Steven Cabral, Kyle Carroll, Joseph Khabbaz, Erica Murphy and Timothy Pelletier.

Barter, Bernier and Carroll were arrested in Burlington by Burlington Police between 6:18 a.m. and 7:13 a.m. Thursday, March 19.

According to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office, all are scheduled for a pretrial conference at the Woburn Superior Court Friday, April 10.

Authorities say Barter and Khabbaz, both Tewksbury residents, organized the alleged scheme, obtaining forged prescriptions and using someone they knew who worked at a hospital to provide them with physician information.

According to court documents, Barter and Khabbaz allegedly recruited runners, including Bernier, Cabral, Carroll, Murphy, Pelletier and several cooperating witnesses, to fill forged prescriptions and drive runners to and from pharmacies for the purpose of obtaining oxycodone pills.

Court documents stated the pills were allegedly obtained from pharmacies in Billerica, Burlington, Lowell, Malden, Tewksbury, Waltham, Watertown and Wilmington and then sold on the black market, or in some situations, defendants allegedly used the pills as payment or for their own use.

The incidents occurred between June and November 2012 and resulted in the defendants allegedly obtaining more than 3,000 oxycodone pills valued at approximately $90,000.

Court documents state agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) identified and obtained copies of the allegedly forged prescriptions from the pharmacies and other evidence, such as signature logs.

Further investigation, resulting in a consensual search of a computer, provided agents with phone records of some of the defendants.

Barter, 32, of Tewksbury, was arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, distribution of a counterfeit substance and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $3,000 cash with conditions that include Barter submitting to GPS monitoring, abiding by a curfew and weekend house arrest, seeking/continuing drug treatment, using no drugs, undergoing drug screening and no travel outside of Massachusetts.

Khabbaz, 33, of Tewksbury, was arraigned on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, distribution of oxycodone and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $3,000 cash with conditions to include Khabbaz submitting to GPS monitoring, abiding by a curfew, seeking/continuing drug treatment and undergoing drug screening.

Cabral, 23, of Wilmington, is facing charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $3,000 cash with conditions that require Cabral to not use drugs and undergo drug screening. He may not travel outside of Massachusetts.

Bernier, 33, of Billerica, was arraigned on charges of uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance and conspiracy to utter a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bernier was released on personal recognizance with conditions of using no drugs, undergoing drug screening and having no travel outside of Massachusetts.

Page 2 of 2 – Carroll, 29, of Bedford, faces charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $300 with conditions to include using no drugs, undergoing drug screening and having no travel outside of Massachusetts.

Two defendants named in the indictments were not arraigned.

Murphy, 32, of Manchester, New Hampshire, is in custody in New Hampshire on unrelated charges. In addition, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Pelletier, 30, of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Murphy will be scheduled for arraignment in Middlesex County on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Pelletier will be arraigned in Middlesex County on charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance.

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Seven indicted in alleged oxycodone scheme – Wicked Local Woburn

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