Trial starts for man charged with drug conspiracy, witness tampering

A trial has begun in Alaska for a California man charged with illegally supplying a prescription narcotic to distributors in Juneau.

The Juneau Empire reported Richard Corum of Sacramento is charged in federal court with drug conspiracy and witness tampering.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Barkeley in opening statements Thursday said Corum supplied Oxycontin pills from 2007 to 2011, part of a conspiracy that took in as much as $2 million annually.

Investigators say pills bought in California for $13 were sold for $60 to $120 in Juneau.

Defense attorney Peter Offenbecher says the government has “no real evidence” tying Corum to crimes. He says Corum was never found with illegal drugs or drug money, unlike witnesses scheduled to testify against him in hopes of receiving reduced sentences.

The Associated Press