Roseanne Ramos, 40, obtained the prescriptions without the doctor’s knowledge and authority, and worked with others to pick up the prescriptions at pharmacies in Cleveland, Lorain and Elyria, federal prosecutors said.
Ramos was involved in obtaining at least 312,750 milligrams — or roughly 41,700 pills — of the powerful and addictive opioid painkiller hydrocodone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Corts called Ramos a drug trafficker more than once during Thursday’s sentencing. He argued that her actions were arguably worse than street dealers, noting that she trafficked drugs “behind a desk with a white coat.”
Ramos pleaded guilty April 5 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, along with another drug charge. The U.S. Probation Office recommended that she serve a sentence of between 37 and 46 months in federal prison.
However, U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. said he felt a shorter sentence was warranted because Ramos cooperated from the beginning of the case and has worked to better her life. The judge also said he thought it was unlikely that Ramos would re-offend.
Carolyn Kucharski, Ramos’ federal public defender, argued that Ramos should serve a year in federal prison. She said her client takes full responsibility but that other factors were at play.
That included her relationship with Anthony Church, a co-defendant and her long-term partner. Kucharski said Church was abusive and had addictions to drugs and alcohol, and that Church coerced Ramos continuing the scheme, threatening to tell Ramos’ boss if she stopped.
Ramos, in a statement to the judge, said she lived through a nightmare and that her actions weighed heavily on her.
Ramos was one of four people charged, along with Church and co-defendants Arion Colvin and Anthony Carter. Church and Carter have also pleaded guilty to federal charges, while Colvin is set to enter a plea July 24.
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