Man sentenced to 25 years for running prescription drug ring

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A man accused of running a large prescription drug ring has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

William Richardson, a former resident of the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood, was convicted following his conviction of violating federal narcotics, firearms and healthcare fraud statutes, prosecutors said Friday.

According to prosecutors, Richardson was the leader of an illegal pill distribution network that lied to doctors to obtain prescription painkillers. Richardson and his conspirators allegedly pretended to need the drug but would turn around and sell it.

Because the drugs were often paid for through taxpayer-financed health insurance programs, prosecutors said taxpayers ended up paying for a majority of the drugs sold.

Richardson was caught when prosecutors said officers intercepted communications coordinating the company that was using a minor to transport some of the drugs. In the seized notices, prosecutors said there was also a threat of harming a Pittsburgh police officer who initiated the investigation into Richardson.

During a raid on Richardson’s home, prosecutors said officers found “a stash” of guns and ammunition, which he was unable to do due to previous felony convictions.

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