ST. LOUIS – United States District Judge Stephen R. Clark today sentenced Derek J. Petty to a term of 91 months in federal prison. Petty was convicted by a jury in April of one count of Conspiracy to Obtain a Controlled Substance by Fraud. The evidence presented at trial proved that Petty’s co-conspirator, Sierra Price, worked at Delmar Primary Care Associates, a small medical practice located in St. Louis. Price wrote and signed more than ten prescriptions for Oxycodone in Petty’s name between April 2018 and December 2018. None of the prescriptions had been authorized by the doctor. The scheme continued unabated because Price, as an employee of Delmar Primary Care Associates, was able to intercept telephone calls from Schnucks’ pharmacists attempting to verify the prescriptions. Before they were caught, Petty and Price obtained over 1,500 oxycodone pills unlawfully.
At the time of the conspiracy, Petty was on supervised release for 2016 convictions for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Distribution of Heroin, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. As part of his guilty plea in the 2016 case, Petty admitted to selling heroin to an undercover police officer, and to selling a dozen firearms (5 of which were stolen) to an undercover ATF agent.
Price, who testified against Petty at trial and who had no previous criminal history, admitted her role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to a term of probation.
United States Attorney Sayler Fleming commended the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Unit and Schnucks’ pharmacists. “We are grateful for the skilled professionals at Schnucks who identified these prescriptions as potentially fraudulent and made every effort to verify their authenticity. Had these pharmacists not continued to question the legitimacy of these prescriptions, this scheme could well have continued undetected for many months.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Missouri