MASHPEE — More than 11,000 oxycodone pills and $115,000 in cash were seized from a Rainbow Lane home Thursday and a Barnstable home yesterday in what the police are calling the largest drug bust in town in several years, reports the Cape Cod Times.
The police say Alex Somers of 34 Rainbow Lane and Michael Riley of Tampa, Fla., both 21, were involved in a scheme in which thousands of dollars in cash would be mailed to Florida and thousands of oxycodone pills would be mailed back to the Mashpee address.
State police Lt. Jack Mawn of the Cape Cod Drug Task Force said the young men admitted that $50,000 would be sent every two weeks to Florida to buy pills.
They also told the police they were turning a $12,000 profit weekly, Mawn said.
The arrests of Riley and Somers came after an eight-month-long investigation, Mawn said.
It is relatively easy for criminals to obtain prescription drugs from Florida, where lax state laws regarding prescription drug dispensing makes the pills easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive, according to the police.
On Cape Cod, a single 30-milligram oxycodone pill costs between $15 and $30, according to Special Agent Anthony Pettigrew, spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's New England office.
At the time the police arrested Riley and Somers, investigators found thousands of pills in Somers' home and car with an estimated street value of $300,000, Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins said.
Mailing cash in exchange for pills from Florida is one way dealers obtain the drugs, the police said.
Buyers can also fly or drive to Florida and obtain the pills from pain clinics and doctors directly, then sell them on the streets of Cape Cod for big profits, the police said.
Riley and Somers are being held on $50,000 cash bail in the Barnstable County House of Corrections.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies swarmed the home located off Mashpee Neck Road at about 5 p.m. Thursday, armed with a search warrant stating that the two men were engaged in an ongoing illegal conspiracy to traffic in Oxycodone, according to police records.
When officers arrived at the house, they stopped a car trying to leave the residence and found Somers, the driver, and Riley, the passenger, as well as a large quantity of pills ... consistent with 30 mg Oxycodone pills, according to a police report.
Riley and Somers were arrested, and a search of the Rainbow Lane home found several thousand more pills and more than $25,000 in cash.
Yesterday, the police investigation of the case led officers to a home in Barnstable, where the police recovered another $80,000 in cash associated with the alleged trafficking operation, Mawn said.
This is definitely the most substantial seizure, to my recollection, in my tenure here, Collins said.
The Mashpee Police Department worked with the state police, the Barnstable County Sheriffs Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on the case, Collins said.
Riley and Somers were arraigned yesterday on charges including possessing oxycodone to distribute, trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium and conspiring to violate drug laws, the police said. Each man faces a pretrial hearing Sept. 1.
By Heather Wysocki and K.C. Myers
Saturday, August 7, 2010