Real estate broker, firefighter among 11 hit with drug charges
A federal investigation of an illegal oxycodone distribution ring in Massachusetts and Rhode Island led to the arrests of 11 people last week, including a Brockton real estate broker who is married to a prominent Abington resident.
Lori A. Ramacker, 40, was arrested by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents at the 199 Colonel Hunt Drive home owned by her husband, Roger Woods Jr.
Ramacker is a real estate broker in Brockton, and Woods is an Abington real estate broker who served two terms as an Abington selectman until 2000. Woods was not charged in the case.
Among the 10 other individuals arrested was Christopher Sloan, a Foxborough resident and Seekonk firefighter.
All of the suspects were arrested in a Dec. 7 morning sweep in more than a dozen cities and towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They face multiple charges related to the possession and distrubtion of oxycodone in the two states.
They appeared in district courts on the same day for an initial appearance, according to Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.
The charges resulted from an ongoing investigation by the DEA. The Oct. 27 grand jury indictment covers a period beginning in Feburary 2011, but illegal activities continued after the indictment, DiIorio-Sterling said.
According to the indictment, Ramacker knowingly worked as part of a ring of oxycodone sellers in at least 15 communities, including Braintree, Boston, Brockton, Rehoboth, and Providence.
According to DiIorio-Sterling, oxycodone is an addictive drug that is perhaps too widely prescribed by medical professionals. Once addicted, some users turn to heroin because it is a less expensive alternative.
Increased home and motor-vehicle break-ins have been reported by local law enforcement officials and are linked to a rise in drug abusers seeking even spare change for a fix.
Oxycodone was approved in 1995 by the Food and Drug Administration for treating severe pain, but its escalating abuse is reflected in the 242 percent increase in oxycodone-related emergency room visits from 2004 to 2009, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network.
None of the accused could be reached to comment for this article.
Calls to Abington Police Chief David Majenski and Deputy Chief Christopher Cutter, the DEA, and Roger Woods’s Old Town Real Estate office were not returned.
Constance Lindner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.