The last of more than three dozen people to be sentenced in a prescription drug ring that operated in Northern Kentucky and southern Ohio has been sentenced to 12½ years in prison, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Nick Sandlin, 34, of Cincinnati, admitted taking trips from December 2011 through February 2013 to help 38 other people to distribute 80,000 oxycodone pills in Northern Kentucky and southern Ohio. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
Sandlin organized trips to pain clinics in Florida, where several of his co-defendants obtained and filled prescriptions for large quantities of oxycodone.
Sandlin and others paid medical and travel expenses in exchange for most of the oxycodone pills prescribed to each patient. Sandlin made 13 trips to Florida to obtain oxycodone and admitted distributing more than 5,000 tablets, the release said.
The leaders of the group, Damon and John Helton, received sentences of 30 and 23 years in prison respectively for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. Sentences for other members of the conspiracy ranged from 3 years to 14 years.
Several members of the conspiracy were also convicted of money laundering. The investigation resulted in the forfeiture of five vehicles, 25 firearms, 12 pieces of real estate and $110,000.
Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety