Hugh­esville cou­ple guilty of large-scale drug traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com

A Hugh­esville woman was con­victed by a fed­eral jury on Mon­day, found guilty of lead­ing a large-scale Oxy­codone dis­tri­bu­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion with her hus­band, who pleaded guilty in Fe­bru­ary. Prose­cu­tors es­ti­mated the cou­ple net­ted a profit of $3.25 mil­lion over the course of eight years.

For the bet­ter part of a decade, Roxanne, 35, and Wil­liam Gran­berry, 37, had been liv­ing lav­ishly in a large house com­plete with an ex­quis­ite swim­ming pool, a Jacuzzi, a fleet of lux­ury ve­hi­cles and even a race car un­til De­cem­ber 2015 when a DEA and FBI joint-in­ves­ti­ga­tion brought their op­er­a­tion to a screech­ing halt, ac­cord­ing to court records. Now, they are in

cus­tody await­ing a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, sub­ject to a max­i­mum of 20 years im­pris­on­ment. Thir­teen oth­ers have al­ready been con­victed for their re­spec­tive in­volve­ment in the drug traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion (DTO), states a U.S. At­tor­ney Of­fice press re­lease.

“The Gran­berry team was not your typ­i­cal mar­ried cou­ple. She was not your typ­i­cal mother of two young chil­dren. They were not an or­di­nary fam­ily,” said Gene Rossi, as­sis­tant U.S. at­tor­ney, in open­ing state­ments. “They were pro­lific drug deal­ers.”

The fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan from the ground up.

In Novem­ber 2013, a “run­ner” for the Gran­berry DTO was ar­rested as he at­tempted to ob­tain Oxy­codone from a phar­macy with a fraud­u­lent pre­scrip­tion in York, Pa., ac­cord­ing to court records. The uniden­ti­fied in­for­mant, re­ferred to as “D.T.,” told in­ves­ti­ga­tors of the Penn­syl­va­nia Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of his in­volve­ment in the Gran­berry op­er­a­tion. He re­vealed that the or­ga­ni­za­tion op­er­ated in the Met­ro­pol­i­tan area and sent fake-pre­scrip­tion run­ners to phar­ma­cies in Mary­land, Vir­ginia, West Vir­ginia, Ohio, Penn­syl­va­nia and Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors also found that Wil­liam Gran­berry had been ar­rested in 2007 in Calvert County for at­tempt­ing to ob­tain Oxy­con­tin from a CVS Phar­macy with a fraud­u­lent pre­scrip­tion which used the iden­tity and DEA num­ber of a lo­cal doc­tor, an af­fi­davit in­di­cates.

Rather than tak­ing the risk them­selves, the Gran­ber­rys man­u­fac­tured their own fake pre­scrip­tions us­ing spe­cial pa­per and print­ers they would then give to their em­ployed run­ners, like “D.T.,” court doc­u­ments in­di­cated. The Gran­ber­rys would use a web­site to ob­tain DEA num­bers of le­git­i­mate doc­tors that prac­ticed in their tar­geted ar­eas, steal­ing their iden­tity to make their fake pre­scrip­tions ap­pear be­liev­able.

The Gran­ber­rys paid run­ners for each suc­cess­ful phar­macy visit and paid the driv­ers who then brought them the pills, court records in­di­cate. Then, the Gran­ber­rys would sell the pills to deal­ers and users for profit. In­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mated they ob­tained about 130,000 pills over eight years, sell­ing them at an av­er­age price of $25 each.

Wil­liam Gran­berry pleaded guilty in Fe­bru­ary, but as­sis­tant U.S. at­tor­neys Rossi, Paul Hay­den and Anna Kamin­ska had to prove that Roxanne played a crit­i­cal role in the drug traf­fick­ing op­er­a­tion.

Sev­eral wit­nesses, who were in­volved in the op­er­a­tion, tes­ti­fied that on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions they went di­rectly through Roxanne to ob­tain pre­scrip­tions and re­ceive pay­ment, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings. A driver tes­ti­fied she ap­proved a raise for his ser­vices in trans­port­ing the il­le­gally ob­tained pills.

One wit­ness — the con­trac­tor who in­stalled their $66,000 pool and Jacuzzi — tes­ti­fied that for their first pay­ment, Roxanne gave him a bag con­tain­ing $26,000 in cash: by the far the largest amount of cash he had re­ceived in 43 years work­ing in the in­dus­try.

“Mrs. Gran­berry not only knew of the con­spir­acy, but she know­ingly and vol­un­tar­ily joined it as ev­i­denced by her di­rect par­tic­i­pa­tion in acts that fur­thered the goals of the con­spir­acy,” said Hay­den in clos­ing.

Roxanne Gran­berry was found guilty on June 13 and awaits a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing sched­uled for Sept. 16. Wil­liam Gran­berry is sched­uled for sen­tenc­ing on June 24.

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