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More Than 30 Defendants Indicted on Prescription Pill Charges in Historic Drug Sweep

LEXINGTON, Ky., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that 36 individuals face various federal prescription pill charges as part of the largest drug sweep operation in Kentucky's history.

"To execute an operation of this magnitude required unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement entities in Eastern Kentucky," said U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Chief Bob McBride.

Law enforcement at the state, local and federal level have arrested 322 individuals on prescription pill violations.

USAO unsealed several federal indictments earlier today that alleges defendants obtained thousands of pills primarily in Florida and then distributed them in Pike, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, Fayette, Floyd and Menifee counties.

The indictments also allege there were more than 50 counts of distribution of controlled substances (oxycodone, methadone), conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and money laundering among other charges. As part of the indictment, the United States is seeking the forfeiture of approximately a million dollars worth of assets that include the defendants' vehicles, real estate, a boat, and a bank account which were properties or entities used to facilitate the illegal activity.

Of those charged federally, 52-year-old James Marsillett II faces the most serious charge. The indictment alleges that Marsillett organized and managed a criminal enterprise that lasted from 2005 to 2008 which involved 13 other defendants who traveled to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida to obtain methadone and oxycodone pills to sell in Pike, Johnson and Floyd counties. If convicted, Marsillett faces at least 20 years and possibly life in prison.

"As demonstrated by this particular indictment, law enforcement isn't just concentrating its efforts in Florida as a source of prescription pills, but also is pursuing suspects bringing prescription pills from areas like Pennsylvania and Ohio," said McBride.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI, Kentucky State Police, Operation Unite, Appalachian HITDA, Attorney General's Office and the Office of National Drug Control Policy jointly made the announcement today.

The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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