Four Individuals Indicted for Conspiring to Distribute OxyContin and Conspiring to Use Extortionate Means to Collect Drug Debts - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Four Individuals Indicted for Conspiring to Distribute OxyContin and Conspiring to Use Extortionate Means to Collect Drug Debts

BOSTON, May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four individuals, including aMassachusetts State Trooper and a retired Massachusetts State Trooper, werecharged today in federal court with a criminal complaint for conspiring todistribute OxyContin and conspiring to use extortionate means to collect drugdebts.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, Colonel Mark Delaney,Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, and Bruce M. Foucart,Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement'sOffice of Investigations in Boston, announced today that Massachusetts StateTrooper MARK V. LEMIEUX, of 6 Daisy Drive, Norfolk, MA; former MassachusettsState Trooper JOSEPH M. CATANESE of 6 Yacht Lane in Sandwich, MA; PATRICKMCCARTHY (a/k/a "PAIN") of 32 Station Avenue, #32, Yarmouth, MA; and TARA I.DRUMMEY of 6 Daisy Drive, Norfolk, MA; are all charged with conspiring todistribute OxyContin, a Schedule II controlled substance. LEMIEUX, CATANESEand MCCARTHY are also charged with conspiring to use extortionate means tocollect or attempt to collect drug debts.

The criminal complaint alleges that on November 28, 2006, at Boston'sLogan Airport, a large quantity of cash and OxyContin pills were found in thepossession of an individual who was scheduled to fly to Fort Lauderdale,Florida. This individual ("CW") agreed to accompany a MSP trooper to thebarracks at Logan Airport. Prior to going to the barracks, the CW told theMSP officer that he was an informant for another MSP trooper named MARKLEMIEUX.

The CW stated that he and others were traveling to Florida on a regularbasis to obtain large quantities of OxyContin pills (from Florida physiciansand pharmacists) and returning to Massachusetts to distribute those pills forprofit. The MSP trooper telephoned LEMIEUX and informed him that CW had beenstopped at Logan Airport with a large quantity of cash and OxyContin pills inhis possession, and that CW was claiming to be an informant for LEMIEUX.LEMIEUX confirmed that CW was an informant for him.

Subsequently, after being further questioning by the MSP, the CW admittedthat LEMIEUX'S live-in girlfriend, TARA DRUMMEY, had made several trips toFlorida on his behalf for the purpose of obtaining OxyContin from Floridaphysicians. Upon returning to Massachusetts from Florida, DRUMMEY woulddeliver the narcotics to the CW who in turn would pay her for the pills. TheCW would then distribute the narcotics for a profit.

It is further alleged in the criminal complaint that in June 2006, LEMIEUXcalled the CW and said that DRUMMEY needed to make money. LEMIEUX, who knewabout CW's ongoing OxyContin distribution activities, inquired whether DRUMMEYcould start making trips to Florida to obtain pills for CW. The Complaintalso alleges that in or about September 2006, the CW met with LEMIEUX andDRUMMEY, at LEMIEUX'S request, to discuss in detail the mechanics of obtainingOxyContin in Florida and transporting it back to Massachusetts fordistribution. During this meeting and other conversations, LEMIEUX told CW tobe careful traveling through Logan Airport. LEMIEUX and DRUMMEY thought theplan was a good one and all three agreed they could make money.

According to the criminal complaint, DRUMMEY began traveling to Florida toobtain OxyContin and other narcotics. Prior to each trip, LEMIEUX would callCW and make arrangements for DRUMMEY to fly to Florida. LEMIEUX wouldsubsequently "check in" with CW to ensure everything was proceeding smoothly.

Beginning in late January 2007, LEMIEUX unknowingly engaged in a series ofgovernment recorded telephone calls and in-person meetings with the CW anddiscussed DRUMMEY's trips to Florida as well as the outstanding money owed toher by the CW. On several occasions, LEMIEUX collected money from the CW owedDRUMMEY for OxyContin as well as computer laptops that were purported to bestolen in lieu of cash.

It is further alleged that in February 2007, LEMIEUX put the CW in contactwith his former MSP partner, JOSEPH CATANESE, for the purpose of enlistingCATANESE's assistance in collecting outstanding drug debts. On March 26,2007, the CW spoke to CATANESE during a recorded telephone conversation andexplained that he needed assistance from someone "with a little muscle" incollecting money owed him. CATANESE stated that he had "a guy" that couldhelp, and the two agreed that CATANESE would accept 30% of the amount of moneycollected with his "guy's" assistance.

Between March 28, 2007 and May 1, 2007, CATANESE, LEMIEUX and the CWparticipated in a series of government recorded telephone calls, to discuss"the guy" and the collection of outstanding OxyContin drug debts. On April 6,2007, MCCARTHY, a/k/a "PAIN" met the CW, CATANESE and LEMIEUX at the BraintreeMall parking lot to discuss the CW's outstanding drug debt collection needs.

On April 11, 2007, the CW met MCCARTHY in East Boston for the purpose ofmaking a collection of a purported outstanding drug debt from an individualwho was supposedly given 200 OxyContin pills at $50 per pill on credit.MCCARTHY entered CW's vehicle, which was equipped with audio and videoequipment. Shortly thereafter, an undercover New Hampshire State Trooper alsoentered CW's vehicle in his undercover role as an individual who owed CWapproximately $9,000. MCCARTHY demanded that the drug debt be repaid andultimately warned the undercover agent that he would be "picking splinters"out of his head and that MCCARTHY would "cut him from ear-to-ear" if he didn'tpay the drug debt. Shortly thereafter, the CW called CATANESE and informedhim that MCCARTHY successfully assisted him in the collection of $6,000 indrug debt. Later, CATANESE acknowledged to the CW that he received his portionof the proceeds from MCCARTHY.

Toward the end of the investigation, LEMIEUX grew suspicious that lawenforcement had learned of his and DRUMMEY's involvement in the drugdistribution scheme. During a recorded telephone conversation, LEMIEUX askedthe CW to "cover" for him and stated, "I gotta come up with a strategy to keepeverybody out of [trouble]."

"It is a somber moment when it becomes necessary to prosecute a member oflaw enforcement who has abused his authority and crossed the line from crimefighter to criminal," said United States Attorney Michael Sullivan. "However,Colonel Delaney was ready to address these allegations of misconduct head-on,and I want to commend him for his leadership and cooperation with the U.S.Attorney's Office and Immigrations Customs and Enforcement. This conduct isan affront to every decent, honest member of law enforcement, and should notbe a reflection on the good work done by the men and women of theMassachusetts State Police, on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth."

"It is always disheartening when a member of this agency, through willfulcriminal conduct, tarnishes the image of the men and women who honorably servethe State Police with pride and integrity," stated Colonel Mark F. Delaney."As the Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, I will not tolerateand personally condemn this kind of criminal behavior that strikes at the verycore of our values, ethics, and traditions of excellence. The proud men andwomen of this Department are hard working individuals that will continue toserve the public with the highest standards of integrity and ethics for whichthe public expects and deserves from our agency."

"This case started when a TSA officer screening carry-on luggage at Loganairport noticed something that wasn't right and brought it the attention ofICE's Logan Airport Task Force," said Special Agent-in-Charge Bruce Foucart."By working with our Federal, state and local counterparts we're able to bringall of our different skills and authorities together to help protect thepublic safety of New England from brazen drug traffickers."

If convicted of the drug charge, each defendant faces a maximum of 20years' imprisonment, three years supervised release, a $1,000,000 fine and a$100 special assessment. If convicted of the extortion charge, defendantsLEMIEUX, CATANESE and MCCARTHY face a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment, threeyears supervised release, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police and theDepartment of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Bloomer, ofSullivan's Drug Task Force, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly, Chiefof Sullivan's Public Corruption Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant ispresumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonabledoubt in a court of law.

SOURCE U.S. Attorney Office