Three charged in Florida-to-Maine pill-mailing scheme

Posted Sept. 28, 2011, at 11:19 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2011, at 9:03 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The day a Florida couple was sentenced in federal court in Bangor on drug charges, a Gray man was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Portland for participating in a similar scheme to mail painkillers from Florida to Maine.

Steven Granger, 46, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

Michael Henry Sr., 56, of Interlachen, Fla., and Edward Flannery, 46, of Lewiston also have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Portland on the conspiracy charge. Henry also was indicted for distribution of oxycodone.

Flannery pleaded not guilty on Aug. 31 in Portland and is free on $5,000 unsecured bail. Henry made his first appearance in federal court in Jacksonville, Fla., last week. He is free on $30,000 unsecured bail. Henry’s arraignment date in Portland has not been set.

A Florida couple was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to four years and three months in federal prison for a similar but unrelated scheme. Raymond “Andy” Romero, 35, and Vashti Ramcharitar , 31, of West Melbourne, Fla., admitted earlier this year that they were part of a conspiracy to mail prescription painkillers to post office boxes in Waldo County.

Information about the Portland case was made public Tuesday when documents concerning the case were unsealed after Flannery’s arrest. The men’s alleged illegal activities were uncovered during routine inspections of Express Mail by a U.S. Postal Service inspector.

Between January 2011 and July 2011, 30 packages addressed to Flannery in Lewiston were mailed from an address in Interlachen, Fla., that turned out to be a vacant lot and from a person who was deceased, according to court documents. The inspector also determined that 11 packages addressed to Henry in Florida were mailed by Flannery and Granger from Lewiston. The court documents do not say what was in those packages.

In July, a person identified in court documents as a cooperating defendant told investigators that Flannery was receiving the packages for Granger. Each package allegedly contained 100 oxycodone pills for which Granger paid Henry $18 to $20 per pill and Granger then sold for $25 each.

If convicted, each man faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

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