Key player in oxycodone distribution ring gets 7 years

Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display. (John Moore/Getty Images)

TACOMA, Wash.  — A key player in a prescription forgery ring that distributed hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The U.S. Justice Department says 24-year-old Stosh Satkowski of Tacoma was also sentenced Friday to three years of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty in October 2017 to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, being a felon in possession of a firearm and failure to appear in court. The Justice Department says Satkowski was involved in a ring led by Anthony Ballenger.

Court documents say the conspirators used stolen U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registration numbers to create phony prescriptions while using online tools to make it appear that the prescriptions were issued by medical providers.

Documents say Satkowski recruited others to use forged prescriptions and false identities to get drugs from pharmacies.

Ballenger was sentenced in July to over six years in prison.