Facebook Opioid Dealer Convicted in Federal Court

Oxycontin tablets. Photo courtesy of the DEA.

Oxycontin tablets. Photo courtesy of the DEA.

By Jonathan Sperling

A Long Island man was sentenced to 46 months in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced Friday.

Terrance Belford, 36, was originally arrested in June 2017 for his role in an oxycodone distribution ring that was active on Long Island. He pled guilty in May 2018 and was sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.

“Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of Belford’s crime, using stolen prescription forms to feed the opioid epidemic and enrich himself, then blatantly discussing the price and availability of his illegal drugs on Facebook,” United States Attorney for the EDNY Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement. “This Office will continue to vigorously prosecute opioid dealers like the defendant.”

Belford, a Bellport resident, and a group of co-conspirators used stolen prescription forms to craft phony prescriptions in order to obtain controlled substances, typically 30 milligram oxycodone tablets, a Schedule II drug. The tablets were then sold for a substantial profit, according to court filings.

The group’s crimes came under suspicion in December 2016, when Belford attempted to fill one of the stolen prescriptions in Enterprise, Alabama under a phony name. He was later arrested when one of the pharmacy’s employees refused to fill the prescription and subsequently alerted local police.

Belford also bragged on Facebook about his prowess for obtaining illegal and prescription drugs, including oxycodone, powder cocaine and crack cocaine. If he had not been caught in Alabama, Belford would have made $10,000 from reselling the fraudulently acquired oxycodone.

“Today, my office will use social media and tweet about today’s sentencing, much like the defendant’s use of Facebook to broadcast his drug deals,” Acting Special Agent-

in-Charge Keith Kruskall said in a statement. “DEA’s message is very clear- if you deal drugs, you go to jail. I commend the men and women on the LIDO—TDS and Eastern District of New York for their diligent work on this case and many others targeting opioid traffickers.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Long Island Tactical Diversion Squad, comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, Nassau County Police Department, Rockville Centre Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Port Washington Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney J. Matthew Haggans is in charge of the prosecution.