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Tewksbury Men Indicted On Charges Of Running Oxycodone Ring

Apr 15, 2015 09:41AM ● Published by Bill Gilman

Two Tewksbury men are facing multiple charges, accused of being the organizers of an Oxycodone ring operating in Middlesex County.

Joseph Khabbaz, 33, of Westcott Circle and Howard Barter IV, 32, were among seven people indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury in connection with the right. Khabbaz has been released on $3,000 cash bail. Barter is being held at the Middlesex County Jail pending his next court appearance, April 22, to further discuss bail issues.

According to an spokesman from the DA's office, all seven defendants, including Khabbaz and Barter, are due in court on July 22, at which time the defense may file any motions to dismiss.

Also named in the indictments were Richard Bernier, Steven Cabral, Kyle Carroll, Erica Murphy, and Timothy Pelletier.

According to court documents, investigators believe Barter and Khabbaz were the organizers of the alleged Oxycodone scheme, obtaining forged prescriptions and also using someone they knew who worked at a hospital to provide them with physician information. Barter and Khabbaz allegedly recruited runners, including Bernier, Cabral, Carroll, Murphy, Pelletier, and several "cooperating witnesses," to fill forged prescriptions and to drive runners to and from pharmacies for the purpose of obtaining Oxycodone pills.

Prosecutors allege the defendants obtained pills from pharmacies in Billerica, Burlington, Lowell, Malden, Tewksbury, Waltham, Watertown, and Wilmington, and then sold the pills on the black market or, in some situations, used the pills as payment or their own use. The incidents alleged in these indictments reportedly occurred between June and November of 2012 and resulted in the defendants obtaining more than 3,000 Oxycodone pills with a black market value of approximately $90,000.

Barter, is charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, distribution of a counterfeit substance, and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. 

Khabbaz is charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, distribution of Oxycodone, and uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $3,000 cash with conditions to include Khabbaz submit to GPS monitoring, abide by a curfew, seek/continue drug treatment, and undergo drug screening.

 

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