Brunswick woman sentenced to federal prison in prescription drug trafficking conspiracy

Prosecutor says traffickers ‘pour gasoline on raging epidemic’ of drug overdoses

File photo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Mark Lennihan, Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A 49-year-old Glynn County woman was sentenced to just over three years in federal prison after she admitted to her role in a conspiracy to use false prescriptions to obtain thousands of pills, including opioids, to distribute on the street.

Teresa Hickman, of Brunswick, was sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute a controlled substance, said U.S. Attorney David H. Estes.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Hickman to serve three years of supervised release after completion of her prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Americans continue to die in record numbers from drug overdoses, and drug traffickers like Teresa Hickman pour gasoline on this raging epidemic,” Estes said. “Our law enforcement partners continue to do outstanding work in identifying and shutting down those who profit from such misery.”

As described in court documents and testimony, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Hickman in April 2020 after receiving reports that she was fraudulently obtaining large numbers of prescriptions from a pharmacy in Jacksonville, using the real names and DEA registration numbers of doctors who were unaware of the practice.

Agents investigating the case identified more than 300 fraudulent prescriptions filled through the conspiracy, many of them for highly addictive opioids. The drugs were then sold to drug users.

“Although these pills came from legitimate pharmacies, the prescriptions were fake,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Teresa Hickman had no business obtaining and distributing these highly addictive drugs.”

“The Glynn County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the coordinated efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration in fighting the opioid epidemic that is destroying our community,” said Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump. “Our office will continue to work with our partner agencies to fight this ongoing battle.”

The case was investigated by the Savannah Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office, and the Brunswick Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew A. Josephson.