Last member of deadly Elmira-based opioid trafficking ring sentenced to federal prison
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WENY) – The last member of a deadly Elmira-based opioid trafficking ring has been sentenced to prison.
According to U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr., 32-year-old Terrance Washington was sentenced to 135 months in prison. Washington was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue. He was also convicted of witness retaliation.
According to U.S. Assistant Attorney Brett Harvey, who handles the case, Washington was a distributor in the large-scale opioid making and trafficking ring between 2015 and 2017.
As part of the operation, organization leaders Robert Ian Thatcher and Maximillian Sams imported bulk quantities of drugs, including fentanyl, from overseas supplies in China. The two reportedly ordered the drugs on the dark web and used different people and addresses in the Twin Tiers to receive the shipments.
As WENY News reported, Thatcher and Sams also purchased equipment and materials to make tens of thousands of blue pills that looked like legitimate Percocet pills, but contained the fentanyl and a drug called U-47700.
At least two people died after taking the pills and another person overdosed on more than one occasion, but was revived by first responders using Narcan.
Washington was one of the co-conspirators who distributed the pills to various street-level customers in the Elmira area. In August 1, 2017, he was arrested in Georgia. While in federal custody in Ohio, Washington reportedly assaulted an inmate who had been cooperating with the Drug Enforcement Administration in the trafficking ring investigation. Investigators say the assault was a direct retaliation of the individual cooperating with the agency.
In total, 16 members and associates of the opioid manufacturing and trafficking operation have been convicted of federal narcotics offenses and sentenced. The other members of the organization were sentenced as follows:
• Thatcher was sentenced to serve 23 years in federal prison;
• Sams was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison;
• Anthony Prettyman was sentenced to 125 months in federal prison;
• Dwayne Banks was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison;
• Jesus Rivera was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison;
• Thatcher’s girlfriend, Amber Bates, who was convicted of money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to five years probation to include six months of home detention;
• Robert J. Elford was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison;
• Edward Barrett was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison;
• Scott Fairbanks was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison;
• Dusty Pemberton was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison;
• Deven Hill was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison,
• Chad Smith was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison;
• Jordan Jones was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison;
• Carlito Rios, Jr., was sentenced to time served and three years of supervised release; and
• Isaiah McLaurin, who was convicted of witness tampering after threatening an individual working with the Drug Enforcement Administration on Facebook, was sentenced to serve 57 months in federal prison.