November 21 2016

Man Pleads Guilty to Oxycodone Distribution Scheme with Burlington Connection


A man accused of a prescription drug distribution scheme with a connection in Burlington has pled guilty. 


Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a release that Howard Barter, 33, of Tewksbury, pled guilty Wednesday, November 16 in Middlesex Superior Court to distributing a counterfeit substance, four counts of uttering a false prescription for a controlled substance, and conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone.


According to the release, Judge Laurence Pierce sentenced Barter to two and a half years in the House of Correction to be followed by two years probation. Judge Pierce also ordered the defendant to undergo a mandatory substance abuse evaluation and engage in any treatment recommended by the Department of Probation.


“The defendant in this case used individuals suffering from substance use disorders in order to profit from an elaborate and illicit prescription drug scheme,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Today, no part of Middlesex County or the Commonwealth has not felt the impact of the rise in the number of opioid-related overdoses or fatalities. This case is an important reminder of the challenges that law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals encounter as we continue to work  together to reduce the toll that prescription drug misuse is having in our communities.”


According to authorities, from June to December of 2012, the defendant hired opioid users to fill forged Oxycodone prescriptions in exchange for cash or drugs. After the prescriptions were filled, the defendant would then sell the Oxycodone. The scheme resulted in the unlawful diversion of at least 3,000 pills with a black market value of $90,000. The forged prescriptions were filled at pharmacies in Billerica, Burlington, Lowell, Malden, Tewksbury, Waltham, Watertown, and Wilmington.


This case was investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and drug task force officers from the North Andover and Burlington Police Departments. 

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