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Final "Pillbilly" Suspect Sentenced PDF Print
Written by WCSO Press Release   
Saturday, 03 September 2011 14:05

On August 22nd, 2011, the last suspect from Operation Pillbilly, Stacy Shell, was sentenced by a federal court to 22 months confinement in a federal facility for her participation in a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) that was receiving prescription narcotics by presenting pharmacies in North Carolina and Tennessee with fraudulent prescriptions. It is estimated the DTO acquired 130,000 pills over several years time with an estimated street value of $4,000,000.00 dollars.   Shell was one of fourteen suspects arrested in March 2010. The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit, in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, initiated an investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that was receiving prescription narcotics by presenting pharmacies in both North Carolina and Tennessee with fraudulent prescriptions.

Shell was one of the original suspects in the fraudulent prescription ring after being identified in June 2009. Further investigation lead officers from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, to numerous others involved in the same activity. Officers were able to identify a total of fourteen suspects responsible for one of the largest prescription pill cases at that time.

The range of sentencing for the fourteen suspects has ranged from probation to ten years depending on the suspects level of involvement and past criminal history,

Sheriff Len Hagaman said, “I am very pleased with the outcome of this long and intensive investigation and want to personally thank all of the agencies involved.

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