As the world, at large, continues to contend with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important for us to recall attention to the fact that there are many other plagues in our society. As we revisited in our last blog, racism is one of them. And, as we’ve noted in many of our past blogs, America’s opioid crisis continues to take lives at alarming rates. It certainly doesn’t help, of course, when individuals keep finding ways to illegally distribute such drugs as Adderall and oxycodone.
41 year-old, Michael DePoder is one such individual. As reported by the District of New Jersey branch of the United States Department of Justice last week, the Gloucester City resident admitted conspiring to distribute Adderall, selling oxycodone and defrauding the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). His actions were in connection with his role in a large drug trafficking ring that operated in and around the city.
DePoder entered his guilty plea via video conference last week.
DePoder pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Adderall, distributing oxycodone and unlawfully acquiring and using SNAP benefits. His illegal actions took place between December 2019 and March 2020. DePoder admitted that, on several occasions within that time span, he distributed Adderall, which is a Schedule II controlled substance containing amphetamine.
DePoder’s father, Rocco DePoder was a recipient of the drug as part of the drug distribution conspiracy. Along with ten other defendants, the older DePoder previously pleaded guilty to drug trafficking offenses involving the distribution of prescription drugs. They are all awaiting sentencing.
“Michael DePoder also sold oxycodone pills to an associate on March 8, 2020,” reports the DoJ, “He also admitted unlawfully acquiring SNAP benefits in exchange for controlled substances and unlawfully using and possessing those and other SNAP benefits totaling $2,676.”
SNAP was formerly known as the Food Stamp program.
It is a federal program that is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SNAP provides food-purchasing assistance for low- and no-income people. DePoder’s SNAP fraud counts are punishable by up to five years in prison. However, he faces a much harsher sentence because of the drug conspiracy and distribution counts. He awaits a possible 20-year prison term for those.
DePoder was charged alongside 17 other individuals in March of 2020. In addition to the time behind bars, DePoder is facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 on each of the drug distribution offenses. He also may endure a fine of up to $250,000 for the SNAP fraud offense. As well, as part of his plea agreement, he must pay $2,676 in restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for August 24, 2021.
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