Savannah pharmacist helped crack multi-state drug conspiracy, US attorney says

Crime & Safety

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Decatur man has been sentenced to over four years in prison for a prescription drug conspiracy, thanks in part to a Savannah pharmacist raising the alarm in 2020.

According to U.S. Attorney David Estes, 29-year-old Raheem Hardy will spend the next 55 months behind bars after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. He must also serve three years of supervised release once he completes his prison term.

Estes said the scheme crossed Georgia into South Carolina and Alabama. Hardy used the names of at least six physicians to create forged prescriptions, then sold them to his conspirators who filled or attempted to fill them.

In total, more than 4,000 pills were distributed unlawfully in the conspiracy.

“By forging wholesale numbers of fake prescriptions, Raheem Hardy poured fuel on the raging fires of opioid addiction,” said Estes. “The teamwork of our law enforcement partners brought this scheme to an end, and Hardy is being held accountable.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the investigation began in December 2019 when fraudulent prescriptions were presented to pharmacies in Columbia, South Carolina.

Then in April 2020, a pharmacist in Savannah contacted the Savannah Police Department and the DEA Savannah Tactical Diversion Squad, questioning the authenticity of an oxycodone prescription.

“Although these pills came from legitimate pharmacies, the prescriptions were fake,” stated Robert Murphy with the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Raheem Hardy and his accomplices are not licensed medical professionals and had no business filling prescriptions for these highly sought-after pills.”

Hardy and nine co-conspirators were formally charged in February 2021 for filling at least several dozen fraudulent prescriptions in the Peach State. According to Estes’ office, six other defendants have been sentenced. Three others are awaiting trial.

“After this sentencing, other criminals have been put on notice that these illicit activities will lead to significant time behind bars,” Murphy said.

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