Duncan pair plead guilty in prescription drug ring - FOX Carolina 21

Duncan pair plead guilty in prescription drug ring

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ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two more people connected to an Upstate prescription drug ring pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday.

United States Attorney Bill Nettles said Steven Rhodes, 33, and Heather DeYoung, 28, both of Duncan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

Prosecutors said Rhodes worked with 42-year-old Joshua Balkind making fake prescriptions and the two would pay other people to go to local pharmacies using the fake prescriptions to get the pills. They said the two paid their helpers with pills.

Rhodes and Balkind then sold or used the pills themselves, Nettles said. He said DeYoung also worked for the ring passing the fake prescriptions.

In May 2011 in Union, DeYoung tried to pass a fake prescription, but the pharmacist knew it was fake because the doctor's name on the prescription had been dead for several years, Nettles said. He said the pharmacist called the sheriff's office, who arrested DeYoung at the pharmacy.

Rhodes and DeYoung face a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100. Their sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

Balkind and his Marci Balkind pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell controlled substances last month.

NOTE: Initially the United States Attorney's office reported the drug was oxytocin, which they said was incorrect.

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