Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
June 24, 2019 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Second Guilty Plea
In Doctor’s Office Oxycodone Pill Scheme
Another Former Office Manager of Goshen Medical Practice Pleads Guilty
to Attempted Operating as a Major Trafficker
51,375 Oxycodone Pills, Worth $625,852, Illegally Dispensed
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday June 24, 2019, Vanessa L Hinkley, 40, of Mamakating, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to the class B felony of Attempted Operating as a Major Trafficker. Hinkley’s plea involved a scheme to obtain oxycodone pills to sell by creating false prescriptions from the Goshen medical practice where Hinkley and another defendant, Jodee O’Dell, had previously been office managers. The scheme included having accomplices, who were not patients of the practice, fill the prescriptions and give the majority of the pills to O’Dell and other accomplices, including Hinkley. On June 18, 2019, O’Dell pleaded guilty to Attempted Operating as Major Trafficker before Judge Brown, for her part in the scheme.
After receiving a complaint from the medical practice, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office initiated an investigation into a group of individuals allegedly involved in a conspiracy to illegally obtain oxycodone by electronically issuing false prescriptions for the highly addictive narcotic drug. As a result of the District Attorney’s investigation, six defendants, including Hinkley and O’Dell, were charged with felony conspiracy charges. Felony complaints filed in the Village of Goshen Court alleged that the group caused 51,375 oxycodone pills, having a street value of over $625,852, to be illegally dispensed between January 6, 2015, and August 27, 2018. At the time that O’Dell pleaded guilty, she admitted that during the six-month period between January 1, 2018, and June 28, 2018, the group caused 11,803 pills containing oxycodone, having a street value in excess of $182,752, to be illegally dispensed through the false prescriptions. At the time that Hinkley pleaded guilty she did not dispute that those numbers and dollar amounts were correct.
Hinkley is next scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on October 3, 2019.
“The large number of pills illegally dispensed from a medical practice in the Village of Goshen demonstrates how the opioid epidemic affects every community in the state without regard to socio-economic status,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “The abuse of oxycodone has helped fuel the opioid epidemic. Those who believe that it is safe to take oxycodone pills without a doctor’s order, because the pills are created by a pharmaceutical company, rather than being “street drugs,” are tragically mistaken. There is a direct connection between the abuse of opioid pills and the abuse of heroin and the frequently lethal fentanyl that is often sold with it.”
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Borek.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.