Authorities break up pain killer ring in SC, NC

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ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say two people involved in a ring that would use fake prescriptions to get pain killers in South Carolina and North Carolina have each been sentenced to almost six years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said 33-year-old Steven Rhodes and 28-year-old Heather DeYoung were ordered Wednesday to spend 70 months behind bars.

The leader of the ring, Joshua Balkind, is already serving 20 years in prison.

Authorities say Balkind would make fake prescriptions on his computer. Investigators say he would give the fake oxycodone prescriptions to addicts, letting them keep a few of the pills and taking the rest to sell.

The ring was broken up in 2011 when a Union County pharmacist realized the doctor that Balkind was using on the fake prescriptions had been dead for several years.

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