Grand jury prescribes phony prescription ring indictments

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018

NEW ORLEANS — An area woman believed to have led a large-scale prescription medication distribution ring that operated largely in St. John the Baptist Parish was indicted by a federal grand jury.

U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser made the announcement Monday, noting the actual indictments were handed down three days earlier.

Shallon Davis Dunmiles, 34, of Des Allemands and Lashonda Melancon, 37, of Reserve are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute illicitly obtained prescription medications, including Adderall and promethazine with codeine.

The duo is accused of working with 43-year-old Wilfred Perrilloux of Reserve, 32-year-old Danyelle Tuco of LaPlace, 42-year-old Andrea Stalks of LaPlace, 32-year-old Ebony Stewart of Opelousas, 23-year-old Cortaz Williams of Reserve and Danielle Anderson, 36, of Reserve to acquire the prescription medications through fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh is leading the prosecution, and Strasser noted the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division and DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad investigated the case.

In July, Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tanner Mangano said Dunmiles worked as a receptionist at a local pediatrician’s office, using the position’s access to remove a prescription pad including the doctor’s information, allowing her the ability to write more than 150 prescriptions.

Police noted the doctor, who was not charged, alerted the Sheriff’s Office in February to suspicious phone calls from pharmacies concerning prescriptions generated from his office.

“He thought something was up and took all of the appropriate, lawful steps to make sure this was handled properly,” Mangano said two months ago.

“We were able to link a lot of people through hard leg work, traveling to all these pharmacies and obtaining video surveillance of these people coming in using their IDs for the fraudulent prescriptions. We did work hand-in-hand at a certain part of the investigation with St. Charles Parish to actually execute a search warrant at Ms. Dunmiles’ residence, where we recovered a large amount of evidence that ties her even further to the crimes.”

Dunmiles was booked July 9 with 148 counts of felony identity theft and 136 felony counts of attempting or conspiring to distribute or possess with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances.

Deputies noted the prescription ring’s work led to dangerous amounts of promethazine with codeine, opiate and various other stimulants to be illegally prescribed to numerous adults and children.

Friday’s indictments allege the illegal activity took place between April 2017 and February 2018.

The Sheriff’s Office announced Feb. 13 that Dunmiles, Melancon, Perrilloux, Tuco, Stalks, Stewart, Williams and Anderson had been arrested with assistance of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Bureau.