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Federal drug, fraud charges for Wrightsville couple

Sean Philip Cotter
505-5437/@SPCotterYD

A Wrightsville woman who worked for a local doctor and her husband entered into a federal plea agreement Tuesday on charges of using her job to acquire and sell as many as 20,000 oxycodone tablets, according to online court records.

Under the deal, Amy Patricia Schneider and Joseph Jacob Schneider, both 29 and of 521 Hallam St., could be sentenced to as much as 44 years behind bars and more than $2 million in fines for the counts of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, distribution of a controlled substance and illegally using a DEA registration to obtain a controlled substance. The plea deal would result in a fourth related drug felony being dropped.

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The plea deal isn't final; it's still subject to the approval of the court, according to a news release from the local U.S. attorney's office. No date has been set yet for a guilty plea hearing, according to spokeswoman Dawn Mayko.

Background: According to charging documents filed in Allegheny County courts in May, the pair was originally detained at a grocery store in the Pittsburgh area on suspicion of stealing stool softener.

They admitted to stealing the stool softener, and Amy Schneider allowed Brentwood Police to search her purse, the documents state. Police allege they found seven pill bottles in there — containing pain medicine such as oxycodone, diet pills such as phentermine and a range of anti-anxiety and anti-depression pills, such as Alprazolam, the documents state. The purse contained more than 300 pills, police allege.

The officers asked Amy Schneider, an office manager at an undisclosed York County doctor's office, if they could search her cellphone, and they say she consented. There they found texts that led them to believe she'd been selling false prescriptions, the documents state.

They asked her if that was the case and she told them it was indeed — she sold mostly prescriptions for oxycodone, police allege she told them. She said she does it to support her husband's drug habit, and said she also uses pills, according to the charging documents.

She said she'd been writing false prescriptions for about nine months and had written about 10,000, the documents state. They state she also gave police a written statement detailing that information.

Their Allegheny County charges were withdrawn in November, according to online court records. That's common when a local case is resolved on a federal level.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com.