52 Indicted In Alleged Drug Trafficking Ring
Authorities are accusing more than 50 people of taking van loads of individuals to Florida to get prescriptions for Oxycodone.
Officials said the operation has been going on for almost three years.
It's the second wave of indictments for the alleged drug trafficking ring that ran a pipeline of Oxycodone from Florida to Ohio.
"This was a big deal in November and is now a bigger deal today," said Ron O'Brien, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney.
In November, 14 people were indicted, including who prosecutors have identified as the ring leaders: Michael Berry and Fahmi Najari.
A grand jury expanded the indictment to include more people Friday, bringing the total to 52 charged.
O'Brien said the group would go to Florida because the state's pain clinics are less regulated than in other states.
"Perhaps, by taking a group down in the van and sending them in and getting the max at multiple locations and then coming back." O’Brien said.
Prosecutors said the group obtained more than 94,000 Oxycodone Pills, which has a street value of more than $2.8 million.
O'Brien said investigators also seized 48 guns during the arrests.
Investigators were able to gather information on the suspects because they were granted a wiretap that allowed them to listen in to phone calls, O’Brien said.
"Secure planning, discussions, statement of co-conspirators, trips, planned the deliveries and all the types of things not generally known to law enforcement," he said.
Some of the runners were homeless people, recruited by the group and paid off with some of the pain pills, according to the indictments.
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November 26, 2012: Jury Indicts 14 In Connection With Oxycodone Trafficking Scheme