Man identified as head of oxycodone ring sentenced to prison
The father of a Jefferson Hills man told a federal judge that he plans to come out of retirement to start a heating and air conditioning business so that his son can work when he leaves prison.
“I intend to start a small business and work him into that business,” said Philip J. Larcinese Jr., 66, of Jefferson Hills.
His son, John Paul Larcinese, 32, pleaded guilty to operating an oxycodone ring. U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond sentenced him on Monday to eight years and nine months in prison and three years of probation.
The younger Larcinese told the judge that he “threw away opportunities that most people don't get” and regrets losing the respect of relatives and friends. He said that, as a result of his arrest, for the first time in a decade he believes he can function without drugs and plans to change his life.
“I can't believe what I became,” he said. “I wasn't raised that way.”
Mary E. Larcinese, 60, former mayor of Jefferson Hills, said her son has improved remarkably since his arrest in June 2010.
“We do have faith that he's going to become part of society again,” she said. John Paul Larcinese's brother, Philip Larcinese III, is an investigator with the state Attorney General's Office.
John Paul Larcinese was one of 19 people whom a federal grand jury indicted as part of the ring, which investigators said utilized homemade and stolen doctors' prescription notepads, fake driver's licenses, doctor identification numbers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and a computer template tracking transactions and participants.
Dismantling the ring “opened the front” in the war on illegal pills in Western Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said when authorities announced the indictments and arrests.
The suspects obtained 1,645,000 tablets of oxycodone, Hickton said. A 30-milligram tablet sells on the street for $30, he said, though not all the tablets were that size. Authorities estimated the ring distributed more than $1.6 million worth of OxyContin, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Picking said at the sentencing that Larcinese admitted his crimes when he was arrested on state charges, and his cooperation and testimony in related cases has been valuable to the government.
Diamond said his sentence acknowledged his help, but the judge noted that Larcinese benefited from his cooperation because authorities had allowed him to plead to a single conspiracy charge. The drug ring started with his theft of a blank prescription pad from a hospital, the judge said.
“The defendant was the principal actor in this conspiracy,” Diamond said.
Diamond ordered Larcinese to forfeit $18,911 that the government identified as money he made from his crimes.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates, Worley edge Brewers, 1-0, move to cusp of playoffs
- Pirates notebook: Bucs set single-season attendance record
- Machine operator avoids serious injuries in accident in North Huntingdon
- York man, 21, accused of assaulting Indiana Borough police officer
- Rescuers carry injured person up hillside near Phipps Conservatory
- Person rescued from McKees Rocks fire
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Police say rifle carried by suspect in state trooper ambush found
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world in Holdzkom
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Water service restored to CMU campus