Leader of Prescription Drug Conspiracy in Somerset Sentenced to 235 Months
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 13, 2012|
LONDON, KY—The leader of a prescription drug ring that brought more than a hundred thousand pills from Florida into eastern Kentucky for distribution was sentenced to 235 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar sentenced 46-year-old Darmus J. Dalton and five of his co-defendants Tuesday for conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone. Judge Thapar also ordered all six defendants to forfeit a combined $360,000 in proceeds they gained from the conspiracy.
According to court records, from February 2011 until July 2011, Dalton and his co-defendants obtained Oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose from pain clinics in Tampa and Miami. Dalton made 20 trips to these clinics during the six-month time frame and also financed other trips his co-defendants made to Florida.
The others sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy include:
- Craig West, 50, of Florida—115 months
- William Padgett, 30, of Somerset—78 months
- Christi N. Combs, 27, of Somerset—72 months
- Andrea J. Ridner, 38, of Somerset—57 months
- Joseph E. Stripling, 37, of Somerset—26 months
Another member of the conspiracy, Blake Gumm, 25, received an 18 month prison sentence in August.
A jury found Dalton, West, and Combs guilty of the conspiracy charge in May. The other defendants pleaded guilty.
The defendants will have to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge, FBI; Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner; the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force; and police departments in Knoxville, Tampa, and Somerset jointly announced the sentences.
The investigation was conducted by FBI, KSP, Lake Cumberland Drug Task Force, and police departments in Somerset, Knoxville, and Tampa. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Smith.