April 22, 2024

A Front Royal woman pleaded guilty Monday to being the “ringleader” of a decade-long oxycodone distribution network, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Candie Marie Calix, 40, worked as an office manager for an unnamed Arlington, VA doctor, according to court records that identify the doctor as “Doctor-1.”

Kendall Sovereign, 56, and Jessica Talbott, 35, both of Front Royal, also pleaded guilty to being co-conspirators in the drug ring.

Between 2012 and 2022, court records state that the doctor prescribed Calix nearly 40,000 oxycodone 30-mg pills and over 9,000 oxycodone 15-mg pills. The doctor also prescribed similar quantities of oxycodone 30-mg and 15-mg pills to Calix’s relatives, including her mother, grandparents, great-grandmother, husband, and brother.

Court records indicate that Calix distributed or directed others to distribute most of the pills prescribed to Calix and her family members by “Doctor-1.”

The U.S. attorney’s office said that Calix “functioned as the gatekeeper” to the doctor and recruited people she knew from the Front Royal area to be “patients” of the doctor and obtain large quantities of oxycodone.

These “patients,” officials say, “typically kicked back the oxycodone 30-mg pills they were prescribed to Calix to redistribute and kept the oxycodone 15-mg 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-mg pills as ‘tickets,’ ‘blueberries,’ or ‘muffins,’” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a media release.

Court documents show that co-conspirators “typically sold oxycodone 30-mg pills at a cost of $25 per pill, and over the course of the conspiracy, generated at least $5,000 per month in profits.”

Calix is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, though actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, the release states. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sovereign and Talbott are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept 21.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Rumbaugh.

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