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Federal judge gives a man a harsh sentence to send a message to prescription narcotics traffickers

TAMPA — A Tampa man drew the harshest sentence Friday in a federal drug case that snared two Pasco County deputies.

Kevin Massimino, 33, was ordered to serve three years in prison followed by five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to peddling prescription narcotics in a drug scheme that involved a Pasco sheriff's deputy and a Pasco detention deputy.

Federal prosecutors said Massimino circulated prescription drugs, including hydrocodone and Xanax, which were made and stolen by Robert "Fat Bob" Caddick of Oviedo. Caddick was chief financial officer of Medipharm, a pharmacy that was raided by federal agents in late 2006 and labeled a public health risk.

Pasco sheriff's Deputy Don Riggans pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute thousands of the pain pills for illegal sale. He received a 24-month prison sentence.

Former jail Deputy Rodney Philon pleaded guilty to a steroid possession charge and was sentenced to two years of probation, including six months of house arrest.

Caddick received a 27-month sentence for his role.

U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara said in court Friday that he regarded Massimino more culpable in the scheme than Riggans or Caddick, though prosecutors didn't ask that Massimino receive an enhancement for having a greater role.

The judge mentioned recent news stories involving attempted robberies of pharmacists by individuals wanting hydrocodone, saying the community is faced with an epidemic.

"A message needs to be sent to the community that anyone who deals illegally in the procurement and distribution of drugs like hydrocodone, (that) there will be consequences," Lazzara said.

Massimino said an addiction to painkillers following a college football injury led him down the wrong path. Most days, he said through tears, it still hurts to walk.

He also had a gambling problem that caused him to look for a way to make fast money, Massimino said.

"I saw easy money as a way to gain greater things without working hard," Massimino said.

The judge allowed him to remain free on bail until a surrender date has been determined by the U.S. marshals.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Federal judge gives a man a harsh sentence to send a message to prescription narcotics traffickers 04/24/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 24, 2009 10:27pm]
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