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Five convicted of conspiring to sell drugs

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Tuesday that five defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell Oxycontin pills.

Appearing before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M, Skretny were Elora Lee, 50, of Buffalo; Andrew Meidinger, 23, of Lancaster; Olivia Paschell, 40, of Buffalo; Christopher Priebe, 23, of Lancaster; and Sophie Wroblewski, 39, of Buffalo. They each face up to 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling the case, said the defendants were arrested in July, along with 28 others, following a long-term investigation into the widespread illegal sale of prescription drugs in the city of Buffalo, Cheektowaga and other neighboring towns.

Lee, Wroblewski and Paschell all pleaded guilty to selling their prescribed Oxycontin pills to another defendant, Michael McCall, who is accused of redistributing the pills to a network of sellers.

Meidinger and Priebe pleaded guilty to distributing Oxycontin pills to customers in the Cheektowaga/Lancaster area. Both defendants obtained the pills from a source with ties to the prescription pill-trafficking network allegedly supervised by McCall.

Sentencing dates are scheduled in April.