PRESCRIPTION DRUG-TRAFFICKING SENTENCES ANNOUNCED

DENVER — After announcing the dismantling of an oxycodone drug trafficking-ring one year ago, the  Colorado Attorney General’ s Office today provided a sentencing update on the 15 individuals indicted. Pharmacist Jeffrey Clawson today was sentenced to serve 15 years at Adams County Community Corrections by the Adams County District Court. Clawson was immediately remanded to the custody of the Adams County Sheriff. In April 2013, he relinquished his pharmacy license to the Colorado Pharmacy Board and agreed to cease working in any pharmacy outlet or other pharmaceutical business.

In January 2013, Attorney General John Suthers announced that Clawson was one of fifteen individuals accused of fraudulently acquiring, diverting and distributing large amounts of oxycodone in the Denver-metro area as well as in Oklahoma. In addition to Colorado, the ring attempted to have fraudulent prescriptions filled for sale in Oklahoma and Kansas.

“We are pleased that justice was served on a corrupt pharmacist who contributed to Colorado’s prescription-drug abuse epidemic,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Durkin. “On a per capita basis, Colorado is now second in the nation for painkiller abuse and the takeaway is that a statewide, multi-disciplinary approach to addressing this problem is necessary.”

The other 14 people named in the Attorney General’s Office 43-count indictment have also been sentenced. The ring’s other key orchestrator, Robin Steinke is currently serving a15- year sentence with the Department of Corrections. The other key prosecutions resulted in Celeste Deherrera currently serving a four-year sentence with the Department of Corrections. In addition Christopher Gemeinhardt is currently on intensive supervised probation with Adams County Probation. Shawna Lawley received a community-based sentence from which she absconded. Lawley is currently wanted by law enforcement. Joel Barr received intensive supervised probation. The other named defendants have had their cases successfully resolved.  

These cases were all prosecuted in Adams County District Court by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Adams County District Attorney’s Office. The DEA was instrumental in the post-indictment investigation.

 

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