Ringleader of illegal Virginia opioid distribution network pleads guilty

A Virginia woman pleaded guilty Monday to being the ringleader of a decadelong oxycodone distribution network.

According to court documents, Candie Marie Calix, 40, of Front Royal, illegally sold 49,000 oxycodone pills to the general public between from 2012 to 2022.

The former office worker got the drugs from an Arlington physician.

The evidence indicated that Calix functioned as the gatekeeper to the doctor, a U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia news release said. She did this by recruiting Front Royal residents to become “patients” of the doctor, and obtain large quantities of oxycodone. These “patients,” in turn, typically kicked back the oxycodone 30-milligram pills they were prescribed to Calix to redistribute, and kept the oxycodone 15-milligram pills for their own use.

Calix and her co-conspirators used coded language to refer to the pills they distributed, for example, referring to oxycodone 30-milligram pills as “tickets,” “blueberries” or “muffins.” The co-conspirators typically sold oxycodone 30-milligram pills at a cost of $25 per pill, and over the course of the conspiracy, generated at least $5,000 per month in profits.

Two of Calix’s co-conspirators, Kendall Sovereign, 56, and Jessica Talbott, 35, both of Front Royal, also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the conspiracy. Sovereign and Talbott are both scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 21.

Calix is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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