Ringleader of illegal Virginia opioid distribution network sentenced

A Virginia woman faces seven years in prison for her part in distributing high-dosage oxycodone pills that she got from a doctor.

Candie Marie Calix, 40, of Front Royal, pleaded guilty in June to being the ringleader of a decadelong oxycodone distribution network.

She worked as an office manager for a doctor in Arlington who, between 2012 and 2022, prescribed her nearly 40,000 oxycodone 30-milligram pills and more than 9,000 oxycodone 15 milligram pills. The doctor also prescribed similar quantities to Calix’s relatives.

Prescription opioids can be used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and are often prescribed following surgery or injury, or for health conditions such as cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them.

“These quantities were far in excess of therapeutic doses, and Calix personally distributed or directed others to distribute most of the pills,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia news release said.

Prosecutors said that she recruited others in the Front Royal area to be “patients” of the doctor and get large quantities of oxycodone, who then kicked some of the pills back to Calix to redistribute. She recruited at least 12 patients — people she knew were already addicted to opiates, prosecutors said.

Calix and her accomplices sold some of the pills at a cost of $25 per pill and earned at least $5,000 a month. She has agreed to a money judgment of more than $500,000.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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