HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Two men who worked at a mental health facility in Biloxi will spend the next few years in a federal prison for conspiring to steal prescription pads and write fake prescriptions.
Tyrone Leonard Thomas, 37, and Marcus Deshawn Price - both of Gulfport - were sentenced Wednesday for conspiring to distribute a controlled substance. Each of them pleaded guilty in October 2017 to the charges, saying they conspired with others to distribute the prescription medications, which included oxycodone, hydrocodone, and amphetamine.
The conspiracy ring began in 2014 and ended in June 2017 when Thomas, Price and a third coworker were arrested. All three suspects were employees at Gulf Oaks Mental Health Center, where they worked together to steal prescription pads and write fraudulent prescriptions for numerous individuals in the community.
In total, 12 people were charged in the felony prescription ring - the three employees at the mental health center and nine people who were accused of receiving the fake prescriptions.
The district attorney said Thomas would help recruit people to come to the clinic and get fraudulent prescriptions in their names. Authorities say those individuals were not patients and the prescriptions were not valid.
According to the district attorney, Price picked up several fraudulent prescriptions, providing the pharmacies with his signed Mississippi driver's license and signing the pharmacy signature logs. He also had other people up the illegal prescriptions and used others' personal information to obtain the fraudulent prescriptions. After getting the pills, Price would split the prescriptions with others.
In addition to spending 103 months in a federal prison, Thomas will also have three years of supervised release once he gets out of prison. He is also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Price was sentenced to 74 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine.