The NeverPressedRX story, as told by the New York Times (NYT) is as audacious as it is criminal. This tale of a Nebraska pharmacist and his dark-web dealer is one for the pharmacy crime history books. The case started in December 2019 as part of the Department of Justice’s Operation Disruptor, when William Burgamy was arrested for selling prescription drugs on the dark-web, as described in the DOJ arrest memo for Operation Disruptor. Investigators had no inkling this dealer was conspiring with a Nebraska pharmacist. When federal agents searched Burgamy’s home, they found thousands of prescription opioid pills, 8 firearms, and most surprisingly, a detailed notebook, the description of which appeared in the criminal complaint against Burgamy’s co-conspirator.
The notebook linked Burgamy’s online pharmacy to the genuine Family Value Pharmacy in Nebraska and its pharmacist, Hyrum Wilson. The notes also told the hair-raising story of what these two had planned next. Burgamy and Wilson’s drug diversion scam was making so much money and going so well, the pair were running out of drugs to sell, as Wilson hit limits on how many pills he could buy wholesale. You will never guess what their solution was.
The duo hatched a plan to get more prescription opioid pills to sell on the dark-web. First, they planned to break into the only other pharmacy in town to steal their stock of prescription opioid drugs. The DOJ press release on the charges against Wilson describes how Burgamy and Wilson then planned to FIREBOMB the rival pharmacy so Wilson’s pharmacy would get all their customers. He’d then be able to increase his own legitimate sales and in so doing up his opioid quota. They called their plan “Operation Firewood”.
Operation Firewood’ included Molotov cocktails, a getaway map created by Wilson, and a plan to make the firebombing appear as though it was committed by a fictitious “pissed off husband”. Fortunately for the unnamed pharmacy, the plan was uncovered once investigators started reading that detailed notebook.
The NYT tells the story of the duo’s guilty pleas. Burgamy pleaded guilty to 4 felony counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, money laundering and firearms conspiracy and conspiracy to use explosives and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Wilson pleaded guilty to 3 felony counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, money laundering and conspiracy to use explosives and was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
The Department of Justice press release of the duo’s sentencing makes for truly entertaining reading. This pair were just waiting for #COVID19 restrictions to be lifted before putting the firebomb attack plans into action.