A Marietta woman described as the ringleader for an illegal prescription drug operation run throughout north Georgia was sentenced Monday in federal court to 14 years in prison.
Kristen Noelle Goduto, 29, was one of eight people from Cobb and 13 from metro Atlanta who were sentenced on charges of conspiring to possess and sell more than 30,000 oxycodone pills.
Oxycodone is a powerful and extremely addictive prescription painkiller.
Goduto, with the help of five co-conspirators from Marietta and two from Acworth, forged oxycodone prescriptions and trafficked in oxycodone tablets, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for North Georgia.
All 13 defendants had previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
“These defendants exhibited total disregard for how their pill peddling could destroy lives,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Oxycodone can be deadly when not taken under proper medical oversight, Yates said.
Harry Sommers, the special agent with the Atlanta Field Division of the DEA, said authorities have seen a sharp increase in distribution of pain pills for non-medical reasons, and it’s become a major concern of his department.
“As such, DEA and its local law enforcement counterparts will continue to target those who traffic these addictive pain medications,” he said. “These individuals are deserving of the sentences that they received today because of the spirited level of law enforcement cooperation.”
Georgia passed major legislation in the last legislative session clamping down on so-called “pill mills,” under the leadership of state Attorney General Sam Olens. One of the main accomplishments of the bill was to require that only licensed physicians could prescribe potent painkillers such as oxycodone.
According to Yates, Goduto was accused of manufacturing prescriptions for oxycodone and recruiting others to pass along the forced paperwork throughout north Georgia.
The prescriptions would appear legitimate and would often pass through pharmacies because Goduto would either replace the doctor’s office number with her cellular telephone number, so she could falsely verify that the prescription was legitimate; or she kept the doctor’s true number, but either had the prescriptions passed on nights or weekends (when the doctor’s office was closed).
For one doctor, she recruited an individual who worked at the doctor’s office who would falsely verify prescriptions.
By passing these forged prescriptions, this conspiracy obtained, or attempted to obtain, more than 30,000 pills of oxycodone.
The sentences handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Julie E. Carnes are as follows:
- Goduto was sentenced to 14 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.
- Kory Joseph Goduto, 32, of Marietta was sentenced to 11 years, eight months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
- Pas-quale Peter Goduto, 62, of Marietta was sentenced to three years of probation.
- Mark James O’Brien, 36, of Marietta was sentenced to five years, three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
- Lori Rene Anderson, 34, of Acworth was sentenced to three years of probation, including one year of home confinement.
- Georgia Ann Hulsey, 33, of Marietta was sentenced to time served in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
- David Lee Tanner, 34, of Acworth was sentenced to time served in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
- Ryan Patrick Trento, 27, of Marietta was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Those suspects that are not from Cobb but were convicted are: Terry Randy Wallace, 24, of Newnan; Carl Clifton Lewis, 25, of Conyers; Ajian Martine Greene, 29, of Sandy Springs; Justin Howard, 30, of Braselton; and Phillip David Hobbs, 40, of Canton.
The case was investigated by special agents of the DEA with assistance from the Cartersville, Smyrna and Rome police departments and the Cobb County, Fannin County, Bartow County and Douglas County sheriffs’ offices.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Hathaway and C. Brock Brockington prosecuted the case.