Federal judges on Monday handed down sentences to two people involved in separate ongoing conspiracies to steal and sell oxycodone. Both involved robbing pharmacies in Eastern Jackson County.
One was what the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri described as a $1.2 million conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Michelle C. Newton, 46, of Kansas City was sentenced to three years, 10 months in federal prison without parole.
Newton among five people who have pleaded guilty – and she’s the first sentenced – in connection with a conspiracy from late 2013 to early 2016, using prescription-quality paper and health-care providers’ Drug Enforcement Administration registration numbers to create fake prescriptions. Newton mainly was a runner, taking the fake prescriptions into pharmacies. She would be paid in cash and/or pills.
Oxycodone is a powerful and addictive painkiller, in high demand on the streets. Authorities said this group sold the pills for $15 to $25.
The group got pills from pharmacies in Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Odessa, Higginsville. Riverside, Kearney, Drexel, Butler and Nevada.
In the other case, a Kansas City woman was sentenced for her role with a group of criminals that illegally got oxycodone – first with fake prescriptions, then robbing area pharmacies. A key break in that case apparently came with an attempted robbery in Independence.
Danielle Bradbury, 27, was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison without parole. She pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Two other defendants in this case have pleaded guilty and been given lesser sentences. Five more, including Bradbury’s husband, await sentencing.
According U.S. attorney’s office, Bradbury admitted that she and others used fraudulent prescriptions to get oxycodone from mid-2013 to mid-2015. They would use or sell the pills.
As that became more difficult, they are started robbing pharmacies to get the pills. They hit a Walgreens on Vivion Road in early May 2015, the Walgreens at 39th Street and Noland Road in Independence less than two weeks later and then a Walgreens in Liberty in June. Bradbury pleaded guilty to her role in the Liberty robbery.
The robbers targeted the 39th and Noland Walgreens a second time, in September 2015, but store personnel detained two of them until police arrived, and their getaway driver left.