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Texas Woman Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison Following Opioid Overdose Deaths

BEAUMONT, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Sixty-two-year old Catherine Ardis of Vidor, Texas was sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Ardis pleaded guilty on Sep. 10, 2020, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, namely hydromorphone, and was sentenced to 15 years by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone on Jan. 22, 2021.

According to information presented in court, federal agents began an investigation of Ardis and others in June of 2019 after three people died as a result of opiates purchased from Ardis at her home on FM 105 North in Vidor.

"Prescription opiates require a doctor's consultation and care for a reason," said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. "Those that put the public at risk for a quick buck will be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

Medical examination of the dead determined that the victims died from poly-drug toxicity resulting from the use of hydromorphone pills, also referred to as Dilaudid. As part of the factual basis for the plea, Ardis admitted to selling the hydromorphone pills that resulted in the death of the three victims.

"This case is a tragic reminder that the abuse of opioids and other prescription pills is just as deadly as illicit narcotics, and those who traffic in diverted pharmaceuticals are held equally responsible under the law," stated DEA Special Agent in Charge, Steven S. Whipple. "We hope that this case serves as a warning to those who illegally distribute pharmaceuticals or those who may abuse them."

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Vidor Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Beaumont Police Department, Port Arthur Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson.


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