MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – Over the past several weeks, eleven individuals have appeared in federal court and pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to unlawfully possess oxycodone with intent to distribute and for illegally distributing the prescription drug.
Information about the defendants and the dates on which they pleaded guilty are as follows:
- July 16, 2021- Joseph Anthony Coleman, 37, of Montgomery, Alabama.
- August 3, 2021- Kambria Symone Robinson, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia.
- August 4, 2021- Rubin Sanders, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia.
- August 5, 2021- Towanna Lorrell Chapman, 36, of Montgomery, Alabama.
- August 5, 2021- Jamal Anthony Thomas, 37, of Montgomery, Alabama.
- August 24, 2021- Maurice Daughtry, 38, of Marietta, Georgia.
- August 26, 2021- Melodie Donne Armer Cheatham, 38, of Savannah, Georgia.
- August 30, 2021- Carlos D’Angelo Jones, 34, of Memphis, Tennessee.
- August 30, 2021- Garren Charles Rogers, 35, of Houston, Texas.
- September 1, 2021- Geniece Chadell Maxon, 33, of Lynwood, Illinois.
- September 1, 2021- Robert Lee Thompson, 32, of Madison, Alabama.
According to court documents, these defendants agreed among themselves and with others to obtain illegitimate and unlawful prescriptions for oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, signed by a Montgomery, Alabama physician, Dr. D’Livro Lemat Beauchamp.
In many cases, officials say this was facilitated through a third-party without actually going to the physician’s office. The defendants would then fill those prescriptions at pharmacies located in and around Montgomery, give the oxycodone tablets to organizers of the conspiracy, and collect payment.
Additionally, the organizers of the conspiracy and Beauchamp agreed that Beauchamp would receive $350.00 per unlawful prescription he signed. Statements made at the various plea hearings, indicated that defendants Daughtry and Rogers were among the organizers of the conspiracy.
The scheme operated from 2012 until April of 2020. However, each defendant did not necessarily participate for all or even most of that period.
In total, these eleven defendants unlawfully obtained, possessed with the intent to distribute, and, in most cases, did distribute, approximately 38,780 30-milligram oxycodone tablets, which is equal to 1,163,400 milligrams of the drug.
For his part in the scheme, on October 20, 2020, Dr. Beauchamp pleaded guilty to the same offense. Likewise, on March 30, 2021, another one of the organizers, Deandre Varnel Gross, entered a guilty plea. Finally, two other defendants in the case, Shayla Denise Moorer and Naaman Rashad Jackson, pleaded guilty earlier this summer.
In the coming months, United States District Judge Myron H. Thompson will conduct a sentencing hearing for each of the defendants discussed above. At his or her sentencing hearing, each defendant will face a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1,000,000.00, and other monetary penalties.
Cases against other co-conspirators named in the indictment are still pending. Those defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“It is disturbing how so many are willing to jeopardize the well-being of the community simply to make a few extra dollars,” stated Acting United States Attorney Stewart in a news release. “The drugs distributed through the work of this conspiracy were powerful opioids, capable of destroying lives and families.”
Stewart went on to say, “We will never be able to account for the harm caused by the collective action of this group. I am glad that, after many years and many pills pouring into our communities, these defendants are being held to account for their actions.”
“Those who choose to violate laws designed to ensure the safe and legal dispensation of pharmaceutical drugs will not escape the scrutiny of DEA by attempting to hide criminal activity and placing unbridled greed before health and safety,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Towanda Thorne-James in a news release.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad investigated this case, assisted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and the Shelby County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross and Alice S. LaCour are prosecuting the case.