Judge sentences pill distributor to 20 years in prison

dmoore@herald-leader.comJune 15, 2012 

A Floyd County man who faced the most serious charges in a historic Kentucky drug sweep in 2009 was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove sentenced James Marsillett II, 55, on Thursday.

In October 2009, Marsillett was charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise. He was one of 518 people in 34 counties charged with pill-related crimes in the largest drug roundup in state history.

Marsillett had admitted that from 2007 to 2009, he funded monthly trips for numerous co-defendants to pick up large prescriptions of methadone and oxycodone in Florida. He took half of the pills and sold them in Eastern Kentucky.

He also traveled to pain clinics in Cincinnati and Philadelphia to obtain pills for distribution, according to court documents.

U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey called the sentencing a significant victory in efforts to keep prescription pills from reaching Kentucky.

"Mr. Marsillett's criminal conduct added to the misery caused by prescription pill abuse in many of our communities," Harvey said. "We hope this sentence will send a warning to others who may be inclined to engage in similar conduct."

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