The Washington Post

Six veterans sentenced for selling drugs at VA rehab clinic

BedfordPic

A federal judge issued a prison sentence Friday to the last of five veterans who pleaded guilty last year to selling prescription drugs at a Veterans Affairs drug-treatment clinic.

The medications, which included powerful painkillers and drugs used to treat addictions to those substances, often came from the same Bedford, Mass.-based VA medical center where the dealers sold the pharmaceuticals to fellow veterans, according to a news release from the Justice Department.

“Any crime that takes advantage of of the men and women who have served this nation is deplorable,” U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said in a statement. “It is even more deplorable when individuals prey on the weaknesses of recovering U.S. veterans.”

Steven Jakaitis, 50, who was sentenced Friday to 15 months in federal prison for distributing buprenorphine and conspiracy to sell oxycodone, received the most severe sentence among the veterans who pleaded guilty.

David DeJesus, 52, received three years’ probation for distributing heroin; Scott Houtchens, 50, was given three years’ probation and a fine of $250 for distributing buprenorphine; David Porterfield, 45, was sentenced to two years’ probation for distributing clinazepam; David Robson, 53, received five years’ probation for distributing and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone; and Allen Nickerson, 52, received two years’ probation for distributing buprenorphine.

The charges against the men resulted from a coordinated investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs police.

Jeffrey G. Hughes, a special agent in charge of the investigation for the Veterans Affairs inspector general’s office, issued the following statement Friday: “Veterans who have served our country deserve a safe place to heal and recover without being preyed upon by those who want to unlawfully profit from the sale of their own VA prescriptions.”

E-mail federalworker @ washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page,and Post Politics.

Follow Josh Hicks on Twitter or subscribe his Facebook page.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Republicans debated Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Highlights from Saturday's GOP debate
Except for an eminent domain attack from Bush, Trump largely avoided strikes from other candidates.

Christie went after Rubio for never having been a chief executive and for relying on talking points.

Carson tried to answer a question on Obamacare by lamenting that he hadn't been asked an earlier question about North Korea.
The GOP debate in 3 minutes
Listen
Play Video
Quoted
We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're booing me? I don't want their money!
Donald Trump, after the debate crowd at St. Anselm's College booed him for telling Jeb Bush to be "quiet."
Listen
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 38%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.