CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A man from New York with connections to a large-scale opioid drug trafficking case tied to Charlotte was sentenced on Thursday. Robert Thatcher, 31, received 23 years in prison for a conviction on a conspiracy to posses and an intent to distribute illegal narcotics.
Thatcher and Maximillian Sams, co-conspirators who are both from Elmira, NY, were accused of running a large scale drug manufacturing operation that stretched between New York and Pennsylvania, according to authorities. The operation ran from 2015 to 2017 and stretched from New York to Pennsylvania.
“That the members of this organization sought to profit by pushing poison on those struggling with addiction is reprehensible,” said U.S. Attorney James Kennedy.
One of the areas where pills were distributed after being manufactured, was Charlotte. According to reports, Anthony Prettyman, 28, of Elmira, NY, was pulled over during a routine traffic stop on October, 2016. A search discovered a large can disguised with paint that was filled with over 5,000 pills.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Harvey, Thatcher and Sams would order furanyl and fentanyl on the dark web and use a variety of names and addresses as delivery methods. Bulk quantities of drug supplies were imported from an overseas supplier in China.
The processing and manufacturing of the pills for distribution took place at a location in Catlin, NY. Several firearms were also discovered at the Pennsylvania location and Thatcher's home in Elmira.
In 2017 Customs and Border Protection caught Thatcher trying to send a large quantity of fentanyl from China to Elmira, on the dark web.
There have been multiple deaths and overdoses related to the manufactured pills.
A total of 13 associates have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing in relation to the drug trafficking case.