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A Georgia assistant principal has been sentenced to federal prison for her involvement in a drug ring in another state.
Melodie Cheatham was sentenced to two years in federal prison followed by three years of supervision after pleading guilty to conspiring to unlawfully possess oxycodone with intent to distribute and illegally distribute the drug.
She was an assistant principal at Brock Elementary School in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System. However, her role in the drug ring stems from her days in Montgomery, Alabama.
FILE – In this August 9, 2021 file photo, counterfeit pill bottles bearing messages about OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma are displayed during a protest outside the courthouse hosting the company’s bankruptcy in White Plains, NY. A federal judge should reject a comprehensive settlement of thousands of lawsuits against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, a group of states said at a hearing on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, arguing that the protections they afford members of the Sackler family who own the company is unreasonable.
(AP Photo/Seth Little, file)
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According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Middle District of Alabama, Cheatham was one of 11 defendants who worked to obtain the prescription drug illegally through an Alabama doctor.
Drug prescriptions were often facilitated by third parties, with the accused never actually going to the doctor’s office.
The defendants would then fill the prescriptions at pharmacies in the Montgomery area and give the oxycodone tablets to the organizers of the program.
“It’s disturbing how many are willing to sacrifice the wellbeing of the community just to make a few extra bucks,” Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra Stewart wrote in the press release. “The drugs distributed through the work of this conspiracy were powerful opioids that could destroy lives and families.”
The Savannah-Chatham County public school system said in a statement to WSB-TV that there is no indication that Cheatham was involved in any unlawful drug-related activities at any school.
“This individual is no longer employed by the school district,” the statement said. “While Melodie Cheatham was employed by the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, she did not have any staff violations and there is no information to show that any of the alleged acts occurred at our school.”
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“District employees are held to high standards and we anticipate further action will be taken by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission,” the statement continued. “We are deeply disappointed by this behavior and do not condone any actions that endanger our district’s students or staff.”