Houstonians indicted in alleged scheme using homeless for prescriptions

KTRK logo
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Shutterstock

DALLAS, TX (KTRK) -- More than 20 people have been arrested in a Texas and Louisiana prescription drug ring allegedly using the homeless to pose as patients.

Federal prosecutors in North Texas on Wednesday announced the 23 suspects are from Houston, Austin and Dallas, plus Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Fourteen of the 23 are from Houston.

An indictment unsealed Tuesday in Dallas says the scheme began in 2013 and often involved homeless or poor people being paid fees to pose as patients. The ringleaders then obtained the prescriptions and sold the drugs.

Prosecutors say 21 suspects have been arrested. Each was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Nineteen defendants are also charged with unlawful use of a communication facility.

    Sina Athari, 24, of Houston, TexasEarl Cain, 53, of Houston, TexasGlenda Cane, 46, of Houston, TexasLashavia Syneice Denson, a/k/a "Shae Denson" and "Shay Denson," 26, of Houston, Texas Jason Edgecombe, 38, of Houston, TexasDarlene Viola Fortenberry, 69, of Houston, TexasBertha Alicia Garcia, 49, of Houston, TexasFahim Ahmed Khan, 57, of Houston, TexasIvery Myers, 63, of Houston, TexasTaneisha Nicole Nickerson, a/k/a "Nookie," 28, of Houston, TexasCornelius Delshun Robinson, a/k/a "Tadow," 36, of Houston, TexasShalisa Shaunta Robinson, a/k/a "Shalisa Speed," 29, of Houston, TexasMuhammad Taylor, 32 of Houston, TexasCy Viator, 32, of Houston, Texas

The Associated Press contributed to this report