Joshua and Marci Balkind (Spartanburg Co. Detention Center Inmate Histories)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
An Upstate couple pleaded guilty Tuesday after prosecutors said the husband wrote fake prescriptions and the wife pretended to be a nurse to validate them as a part of a drug ring.
United States Attorney Bill Nettles said Joshua Balkind, 42, and Marci Balkind, 41, both of Spartanburg, pleaded guilty during a change of plea hearing in an Anderson federal court to conspiracy to sell controlled substances.
Prosecutors said that Joshua Balkind was the leader of an Upstate conspiracy to possess and sell prescription drugs.
They said Joshua Balkind created the prescriptions on his computer, provided a copy of the prescription to an addict, and arranged for the addict to be driven to a local pharmacy to pick up the prescription.
Joshua Balkind would permit the addict to keep a few of the pills and would sell the remainder of the prescription. At the top of the prescription, Marci Balkind's phone number was added, according to Nettles.
Nettles said Marci Balkind pretended to be a nurse at a physician's office when the pharmacy called to verify the prescription.
Investigators said that the conspiracy made at least $240,000 from the sale of the pills.
Nettles said that the maximum sentence the Balkinds could receive is a fine of $250,000, 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a special assessment fee of $100.
The Balkinds will be sentenced by a judge once he has received a pre-sentence investigation report prepared by the United States Probation Office.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the conspiracy ring.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:31:29 GMT
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