A Bellport man who boasted on Facebook that he had illegal drugs for sale pleaded guilty Friday to his role in a multistate oxycodone trafficking ring, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District said.
Terrance Belford, 36, faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million when he is sentenced Sept. 21 on conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, authorities said. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
His attorney could not be reached for comment Friday.
Prosecutors said Belford was part of a ring that was active in several states, including New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Certain details of the investigation have not been released because the investigation is ongoing.
Belford and an accomplice, Tanisha Alexander, used prescription forms stolen from a New York medical practice to obtain oxycodone tablets from pharmacies in Long Island and elsewhere in 2016, according to a criminal complaint.
Belford was caught when he used a fake driver’s license and name, “Jason Park,” to try to fill a forged prescription for 120 oxycodone tablets in December 2016 at a pharmacy in Enterprise, Alabama, federal officials said. Employees refused to fill it and called police, who charged him with attempting to commit a controlled substance crime.
Waiving his Miranda rights, Belford told authorities that he bought the prescription form for $300, court papers said.
On Facebook, Belford wrote that had he not been stopped in Alabama, he would have made up to $2,000 for each forged prescription through the resale of oxycodone, prosecutors said.
Federal investigators said they also found Belford and Alexander discussed the sale of illegal drugs on their Facebook accounts, albeit in code words in private messages.
In one exchange, Alexander told Belford, “I got some good ones ask your man if he want now,” court papers said. Belford responded with one word — “Blue” — and Alexander typed back “Script” before telling him the cost was $23 per pill, the complaint said.
Blue refers to 30-milligram oxycodone pills, which are often blue, and script refers to a prescription form, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration agent who signed the complaint.
Belford also sold Percocet and “soft,” code for powder cocaine, the DEA said.
“Belford didn’t have too much to hide since he boldly posted his drug trafficking activities on social media,” James J. Hunt, DEA Special Agent-in-Charge for the New York division, said. “Too often, criminal organizations try to hide behind new communication platforms with false bravado that no one is watching, but in this case, law enforcement was watching.”
Alexander’s case is pending. Her attorney declined to comment.