Austin man linked to pain meds scam

Hydrocodone pills, also known as Vicodin, are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Hydrocodone pills, also known as Vicodin, are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

DALLAS (KXAN) — A prescription drug ring using homeless people involves a man from Austin. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced 23 people were indicted with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

The indictment alleges the scam happened between May 2013 through July 2014. Authorities say the suspects were using homeless and low-income people to pose as patients at medical clinics to obtain prescriptions for pain medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. The suspects would then turn around and sell the pain medications for a profit in Dallas, Austin, Houston and Louisiana. Officials said the “patients” would earn a small fee from the organizers.

Shane Barron, 27, of Austin is one of the 23 suspects; the other suspects are from Houston, Lafayette, Dallas, and Baton Rouge. The U.S. Department of Justice says all the suspects are in custody except for two.

If convicted, the suspects could face 20 years in federal prison.

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