A Pike County man who pleaded guilty to charges he was involved in a massive pill pipeline responsible for bringing prescription opioids into Pike County to be trafficked illegally was sentenced Friday to serve five years in prison.

According to court documents, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell sentenced Darryl K. Williams, 56, of Mullen Fork, Stone, to 72 months in prison, with five years of supervised release to follow the prison sentence.

William was the alleged ringleader of a pill pipeline which financed and directed “pill crews” to travel to out-of-state pain clinics where they received prescriptions for oxycodone and other controlled substances, according to a plea agreement filed in his case.

Williams, the agreement said, paid for the trips and all associated expenses. The agreement said Williams paid to have the prescriptions filled and received a portion of the pills in exchange for sponsoring the trip.

The agreement points to Dr. Joel Smithers, a Martinsville, Virginia-based doctor who was sentenced to 40 years in prison last week for his role in the pill mill he was convicted of operating.

Williams, as a result of the conspiracy, conspired to distribute approximately 8,100 oxycodone 30 mg pills during the course of the scheme, from June 2015 through July 2016, the agreement said.

Williams faced a prison sentence of up to 20 years in connection with the conspiracy charge to which he pleaded. The agreement shows that Williams is reserving his right to appeal a denial of his motion to suppress the traffic stop which led to his arrest.

“If he prevails on appeal, the defendant may then withdraw his guilty plea,” the agreement said.

Three alleged members of Williams’ pill crew have been convicted and sentenced in the case. A Buffalo, West Virginia-based pharmacist allegedly used to fill the bogus prescriptions, has been convicted and awaits sentencing in the case.

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