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U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentencing of a Las Vegas, Nevada, man for his role in a national oxycodone trafficking operation that resulted in the distribution of 100,000 oxycodone pills in and around Memphis. The investigation into the man’s role in pill distribution in other states is ongoing and, as a result, the total number of distributed pills throughout the United States remains unknown.
Gabriel Rounds, 36, a former resident of Nevada and soon-to-be resident of a federal prison, was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison for the distribution of hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills through the mail and conspiracy to commit interstate money laundering. His case, according to information revealed in the courtroom, began in 2013. Postal Inspectors in Las Vegas, Nevada, started profiling packages of oxycodone pills that a suspect had been sending from a Las Vegas post office.
The investigation took years. Even though the Postal Inspectors had been routinely seizing packages of pills, they continually failed to identify the people responsible for shipping the packages. During the investigation, however, the United States Postal Inspection Service collected a list of oxycodone buyers throughout the United States (and particularly in Memphis, Tennessee).
“This office continues our fight against the supply and flow of dangerous prescription opioids into the Western District of Tennessee,” U.S. Attorney Dunavant told the press. He continued, “this disturbing case demonstrates the lengths to which drug dealers will go to profit from addiction and suffering, and this significant sentence demonstrates our resolve to punish and deter such brazen interstate criminal conduct.”
In April 2016, Postal Inspectors finally had a break in the case. A USPS employee informed an unidentified Postal Inspector of a potential lead. The USPS employee explained that a woman came in on a weekly basis and mailed USPS Priority and USPS Priority Express packages to several addresses in Tennessee. The USPS employee suspected that the packages may have contained drugs.
Postal Inspectors matched the woman’s packages with other packages seized. In May 2016, Postal Inspectors began opening the packages. They discovered, within the USPS mailers, packages of candy. Inside the packages of candy, according to court documents, the Inspectors discovered oxycodone pills. Some packages contained nearly 500 pills. From there, the Inspectors and local police worked to identify the dealer. They first caught Magan Hall, a co-conspirator who recently admitted helping Rounds. After getting to Hall, they easily identified and arrested Rounds.
In the recent sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Rounds to prison for 188 months. After release, Rounds will spend another six years on supervised release.