Baltimore, Maryland – On April 23, 2018, United States District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Thomas Dalton, age 31, of Waldorf, Maryland to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of oxycodone.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services; Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department; Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry; St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; Chief Peter Newsham of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department; Commissioner Darryl De Sousa of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police.
According to his plea agreement, between November 2013 and May 2015, Dalton and his co-conspirator, Alex Mori, age 31, of Nanjemoy, Maryland, owned and operated First Priority Heath Care, LLC in Elkridge, Maryland, a purported pain management clinic, which facilitated the distribution of oxycodone to customers who had no legitimate medical need for the substance. Dalton and Mori hired and supervised employees, directed financial transactions for the business, and divided the profits. Dalton ran the day-to-day operations of First Priority.
Dalton and Mori worked to recruit individuals to visit First Priority so that they would profit from the cash fees charged for an office visit. Some of these individuals entered First Priority with fictitious complaints of pain in order to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone. Often, such individuals would fill their prescriptions and give some or all of the oxycodone tablets they received to a distributor, typically receiving either cash or oxycodone tablets for their services. The distributors then sold the pills for a profit. Dalton and Mori also bought and sold oxycodone pills for profit, including from people who obtained prescriptions from First Priority. Dalton also created false medical records for persons who sought to obtain pills at First Priority.
According to the plea agreement, wiretap conversations showed Dalton discussing the operation of First Priority and the distribution of oxycodone with co-conspirators, including Mori. These intercepts showed that Dalton conspired to distribute oxycodone with full knowledge that it was being abused by addicts and others without a legitimate medical need for the drug.
Dalton was intercepted on numerous calls interacting with co-conspirators, including communications where he arranged for distributors and their “runners” to visit First Priority to obtain oxycodone prescriptions; agreed to make false medical records for runners; agreed to “front” the cost of runners’ office visits to First Priority; and agreed to buy and sell oxycodone pills.
According to the plea agreement, it was reasonably foreseeable to Dalton that the conspiracy would distribute at least 488,010 milligrams of oxycodone.
Co-defendant Mori pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of oxycodone and has been sentenced to four years in prison.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the DEA; OIG HHS; the Howard County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Washington DC Metropolitan, and Virginia State Police Departments; and the Baltimore County, St. Mary’s County, and Calvert County Sheriff’s Departments for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Clark, who prosecuted the case.