10-year sentence in drug trafficking case

06/16/2014 1:03 PM

06/16/2014 1:08 PM

A man from Tacoma, Wash. was sentenced to 10 years and one month in state prison Monday after pleading guilty to participating in an oxycodone and hydrocodone trafficking conspiracy that stretched from Visalia through Modesto to Washington state.

According to the United States Attorney’s office, David Ruem, 32, took part in the scheme with 14 other people. Authorities say the defendants obtained prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone from a doctor in Visalia, filled those prescriptions at pharmacies in Modesto, and then transported or mailed the pills to Washington for distribution on the black market. They would sell the pills and then deposit the profits into bank accounts in California.

Ruem also admitted to structuring deposits of $145,000 into various accounts opened by co‑conspirators in California. Individual deposits and withdrawals were kept to less than $10,000 to prevent the bank from filing Currency Transaction Reports that banks are required to file on transactions greater than $10,000.

Seven people already have been sentenced in the case, while charges against six more are pending. Phary Chim of Kent, Wash. was sentenced to four years and three months in prison; Sdey Chim of Modesto was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison; Chanrath Yath of Modesto wsa sentenced to three years and four months in prison; Phally Thach of Modesto was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison; Raeb Chou of Modesto was sentenced to two years in prison; Cindy Doeum of Kent, Wash. and Chantha Chim of Murietta both received three years of probation.

Visalia doctor Terrill Eugene Brown, 62, faces charges of conspiracy to dispense oxycodone, dispensing of oxycodone and hydrocodone, and structuring currency transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements. The charges against him and the remaining five defendants are pending.

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