LOS ANGELES—On Thursday, May 21, a Texan woman who led an interstate narcotics trafficking ring pled guilty to federal criminal charges stemming from an opioid buy-back scheme.
The 54-year-old Houston native, Angela Gillespie-Shelton, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
In her plea agreement, she admits to running Southfork Medical Clinic – located in Harvard Heights, Los Angeles – with her co-conspirators. Gillespie-Shelton, who is also known as “Boss Lady” and “Angotti,” was based in Texas at the time but regularly traveled to California.
Dr Madhu Garg, a 69-year-old Glendora resident, worked with Gillespie-Shelton. She served an 18-month prison sentence in 2016 for illegally distributing oxycodone and money laundering.
Garg saw supposed patients and prescribed narcotics to them, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and alprazolam. Once the “patients” filled in the prescriptions, the ring purchased the drugs back and delivered them to Texas.
There, Gillespie-Shelton used two pharmacies as a front to sell the drugs on the black market. She controlled both pharmacies, so they filled fraudulent prescriptions in exchange for bribes.
She also laundered over $1 million from the diversion schemes and used some of the money to develop the trafficking conspiracy. This entailed paying rent for the clinic and a Los Angeles stash house, and paying Garg over $200,000.
Five separate agencies investigated the case against her, and the sole prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea Norell of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section.
Gillespie-Shelton has a hearing scheduled on October 1 with U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt. She faces up to 40 years in federal prison.