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Allegheny

Lawrenceville woman convicted in opioid painkiller ring gets 4 years' probation

Natasha Lindstrom
| Friday, June 1, 2018, 8:54 p.m.
Purdue Pharma is already defending lawsuits from several states and local governments, but Massachusetts is the first state to personally name the company’s executives in a complaint, Attorney General Maura Healey said.
Los Angeles Times
Purdue Pharma is already defending lawsuits from several states and local governments, but Massachusetts is the first state to personally name the company’s executives in a complaint, Attorney General Maura Healey said.

A Pittsburgh woman convicted of conspiring to sell opioid painkillers through a criminal distribution ring was sentenced to four years of probation, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said Friday.

Mildred Rainey, 61, of Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood was found guilty of conspiring to commit health care fraud and distribute oxymorphone — a highly addictive medication contributing to the nation's opioid overdose epidemic.

Rainey obtained opioid painkillers prescribed to an elderly person, then arranged for the sale of the pills to dealers who distributed them to opioid addicts, Brady said.

According to prosecutors, Rainey had been part of a criminal network of drug dealers distributing the drugs in the Pittsburgh region.

In December 2016, the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration charged Rainey and 17 others in connection to the broader health care fraud and prescription pill distribution scheme.

Seventeen of the 18 suspects hailed from places in Western Pennsylvania, including Gibsonia, North Versailles, Wilkinsburg, Ford City (Armstrong County) and Pittsburgh's East Liberty, Terrace Village, Marshall-Shadeland, Bedford Dwellings and Manchester neighborhoods. One man, Kavon Dawkins, was from Clinton, Mich.

Indictments alleged that the suspects obtained prescription painkillers paid for by government-funded health care programs and then sold the pills for cash.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuted the cases with help from the DEA, the FBI's Federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the state Attorney General and Pittsburgh and Allegheny County police.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, nlindstrom@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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