LONDON—A Floyd County man who faced the most serious charges in Kentucky’s historic drug roundup in 2009 was sentenced to 240 months for the illegal distribution of thousands of pills in Eastern Kentucky.
United States District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove sentenced 55-year-old James Marsillett, II yesterday for the offense of operating a continuing criminal enterprise.
In October 2009, Marsillett was charged in the largest drug sweep in Kentucky’s history, resulting in the arrest of more than 500 people. All of the 36 defendants charged federally in the roundup have been convicted.
Marsillett previously admitted that from 2007 to 2009, he funded monthly trips for numerous co-defendants to see Dr. Michael Shook in Florida. Shook worked at Lauderhill Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and prescribed large quantities of Methadone and Oxycodone.
“Today’s sentence is a significant victory for our law enforcement partners in the ongoing struggle to combat prescription drug abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey. “Mr. Marsillett’s criminal conduct added to the misery caused by prescription pill abuse in many of our communities. We are pleased that he has received justice for playing a leading role in a large drug trafficking organization and hope this sentence will send a warning to others who may be inclined to engage in similar conduct.”
Shook was sentenced to four years in federal prison last year for unlawfully dispensing Oxycodone. He admitted that he spent little time evaluating patients before writing prescriptions for them. The patients Marsillett sent to Shook paid approximately $2,000 for an MRI, a doctor’s visit, and the prescription.
Marsillett acknowledged that the co-defendants he sent to the Florida pain clinic gave him half of the pills they obtained, which he then sold in Eastern Kentucky. Marsillett used the proceeds from the drug trafficking to fund the trips to Florida.
According to court documents, in 2006 and 2007, Marsillett traveled with others to Urgent Care pain clinics in Cincinnati and Philadelphia to obtain Methadone pills for distribution in Eastern Kentucky.
Marsillett will have to serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by FBI, Kentucky State Police, Operation UNITE, and Appalachia HIDTA. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger West.