Houstonians indicted in alleged scheme using homeless for prescriptions

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, Texas

    Shane Barron, 27, of Austin, Texas

    Carolina Giselle Berrio, a/k/a "Carolina Slocum Berrio" and "Karrie," 36, of Lafayette, Louisiana

    Angela Moore Booth, 48, of Lafayette, Louisiana

    Earl Cain, 53, of Houston, Texas

    Glenda Cane, 46, of Houston, Texas

    Lashavia Syneice Denson, a/k/a "Shae Denson" and "Shay Denson," 26, of Houston, Texas

    Jason Edgecombe, 38, of Houston, Texas

    Darlene Viola Fortenberry, 69, of Houston, Texas

    Bertha Alicia Garcia, 49, of Houston, Texas

    Tony Sue Griggs, 34, of Dallas, Texas

    William Hopkins, a/k/a "New York," 53, of Dallas, Texas

    Fahim Ahmed Khan, 57, of Houston, Texas

    Candis O'Shaea Lewis, 29, of Dallas, Texas

    Patrick Moore, a/k/a/ "Crowley," 23, of Lafayette, Louisiana

    Ivery Myers, 63, of Houston, Texas

    Taneisha Nicole Nickerson, a/k/a "Nookie," 28, of Houston, Texas

    Cornelius Delshun Robinson, a/k/a "Tadow," 36, of Houston, Texas

    Shalisa Shaunta Robinson, a/k/a "Shalisa Speed," 29, of Houston, Texas

    Markii Josett Shular, 30, of Dallas, Texas

    Tasmin Jamal Stewart, a/k/a "Taz," 30, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Muhammad Taylor, 32 of Houston, Texas

    Cy Viator, 32, of Houston, Texas

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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