14 People Connected to Prescription Pill Ring Sentenced
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — 14 people connected to a major prescription painkiller operation in southwestern Idaho have been sentenced.
KTVB-TV reports 22-year-old Austin Serb, the ringleader, was sentenced to 10 years and ordered to forfeit $1 million. Other sentences ranged in severity. The operation led to a spike in prescription drug abuse in Idaho's Treasure Valley.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Serb coordinated oxycodone pill shipments from California, hidden in teddy bears, candles, and other items. About 5,000 pills were sold in Idaho every month for several years.
Authorities say because the pills were pricey, many buyers eventually switched to a less expensive drug, heroin. Court documents show Serb recruited customers by giving out free pills. He even offered to sell more drugs after performing CPR on a girl who overdosed.