Three from area among 13 facing federal drug charges

The Modesto BeeApril 18, 2013 

MODESTO, Calif. – A federal grand jury has indicted 13 people, including one from Tacoma and two from Kent, in a drug trafficking conspiracy that allegedly brought in more than $3 million.

Authorities said Thursday that on April 11 in Modesto, a federal grand jury in returned a 29-count indictment charging the defendants with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances – oxycodone, hydrocodone, and marijuana.

They also are charged with conspiracy to structure cash transactions in order to avoid federal currency reporting requirements.

Among those indicted were 31-year-old David Ruem of Tacoma. The two Kent residents are 29 and 30 years old. Most of the suspects, including the three Washington residents, have been arrested, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagne said.

The indictment alleges that from October 2008 to April 2013, the defendants got prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and medical marijuana cards from a doctor in Modesto, and recruited other people to do the same in return for cash. On some occasions, the defendants drove other individuals to the doctor and then collected their prescriptions and marijuana cards after they had visited the doctor. Court documents refer to the doctor only as “Dr. X.”

The defendants allegedly filled the prescriptions at pharmacies in Modesto, and shipped the drugs to customers in Washington, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

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