Pagans member sentenced in pill mill trafficking case

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Joseph Mitchell Sr., a member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, was sentenced Thursday to nine years in federal prison for his role in a prescription pill mill that trafficked about 700,000 oxycodone and other addictive opiate pills.

United States District Court Judge Nitza L. Quinones Alejandro also ordered Mitchell to serve three years supervised release and pay a special assessment of $100.

The court also entered a forfeiture judgment, but did not elaborate what property it would take from Mitchell.

On July 14, 2015, a Philadelphia grand jury charged Mitchell, along with William O'Brien, a former doctor of osteopathic medicine, and eight co-defendants with conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

Mitchell was a member of the Pagans, an outlaw biker gang known for violence and drug dealing, officials said.

Records show O'Brien worked with the Pagans and their associates to operate a "pill mill" out of his medical offices.

Officials say O'Brien wrote fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone and other drugs. Meanwhile, the Pagans recruited "pseudo-patients" to buy the fake prescriptions.

Records show O'Brien charged $250 cash for the first appointment to get controlled substances prescriptions and $200 cash for each follow-up visit.

Oxycodone, in 30 mg form, was in high demand by drug dealers, who could sell each pill on the street for $25 to $30. O'Brien sold hundreds of this prescriptions, records show.

After filling the prescriptions, the Pagans and their associates resold the pills on the street.

The investigation showed that from March 2012 to January 2015, more than 700,000 pills containing oxycodone and other Schedule II controlled substance were distributed. 

On Oct. 5, O'Brien was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The remaining co-defendants in this case have pleaded guilty and await their sentences.

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George Mattar
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