PORTLAND, Maine — A Biddeford man pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge and six others from York County were arrested last week in connection with a federal oxycodone trafficking investigation in southern Maine involving fraudulent prescriptions.
Two men from New York City also have been indicted in association with the investigation.
Michael Lucas, 28, of Biddeford waived indictment and pleaded guilty June 20 in federal court in Portland to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and oxycodone.
According to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty, Lucas was instrumental in trafficking oxycodone, cocaine and heroin with the help of two co-conspirators: Peter Risko, 32, and Mikol Kelsic, 45, both of New York City.
Risko and Kelsic were indicted last week by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and oxycodone, according to documents on the website for the federal courts in Maine. Kelsic is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Portland.
The oxycodone was obtained at southern Maine pharmacies where five different people had fraudulent prescriptions filled in more than five instances, according to the prosecution version of events. Donald Blow, 31, of Biddeford, who was among the six arrested last week, was one of them.
Blow was arrested on a warrant in connection with a “criminal complaint alleging conspiracy to acquire drugs by deception,” U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II said Tuesday in a press release.
According to the criminal complaint filed against him, Blow received 180 30-milligram oxycodone pills on Oct. 19, 2011, at a Westbrook pharmacy by submitting a fraudulent prescription allegedly written by a doctor in Bronx, N.Y. The complaint said Blow was never a patient of the doctor.
Blow agreed to have a prescription written in his name in exchange for 20 pills from Lucas, who had obtained stolen prescriptions generated by Risko in New York, according to the criminal complaint and the prosecution version of events in the Lucas case. Blow dropped off the prescription at the Westbrook pharmacy and his girlfriend, Crystal Roberge, 24, of Biddeford, who was among the six arrested last week, later picked up the prescription pills, according to the complaint.
Since last fall, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement agencies have been investigating the circulation of fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions at pharmacies in southern Maine, the criminal complaint said. It said the prescriptions were printed on official prescription paper with the title “Official New York State Prescription” and contain the names of doctors in Bronx, N.Y.
To generate the fraudulent prescriptions, Lucas provided the names, addresses and dates of births of people for whom fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions could be written to Risko, who had access to the stolen prescription forms, in October 2011, the prosecuting version said. The prescription forms contained a list of doctors’ names and addresses along with a telephone number that was not connected to the doctors’ offices.
Once the prescriptions were generated in New York, Risko sent them to Lucas, who then would distribute the prescriptions to others to fill at pharmacies in southern Maine, the court document said. Should a pharmacist call the phone number on the prescription, a co-conspirator who was not named in the document would answer and pose as the prescribing doctor or one of the doctor’s staff to verify the prescription.
For every prescription filled, Lucas received the majority of pills for further dispersal, the court document said, and paid the others with a percentage of them — including Blow.
Lucas also made arrangements with Risko and Kelsic in March to traffic cocaine and heroin, the prosecution version of events said. On March 23, Lucas’ vehicle was stopped by Maine State Police and found with 100 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of heroin.
The U.S. attorney’s office was not immediately available for comment on whether four of the six other defendants arrested last week were connected to Lucas’ scheme.
In addition to Roberge, three of the defendants — Dean Tosi, 31, Jillian Fortin, 23, Cynthia Laverriere, 31, all of Biddeford — were arrested after being indicted last week for possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and acquiring drugs by deception, Delahanty said in the press release. The fourth, Anthony Cadilla, 29, of Saco, was arrested after being indicted for attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and attempt to acquire drugs by deception.
The case was investigated by the DEA, with the assistance of the Biddeford and Saco police departments and the York County Sheriff’s Office.