Owner of Non-Profit “Club” Charged With Illegal Distribution of Prescription Narcotics

The following news release was distributed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office earlier today.

The owner of a South Seattle non-profit “club” that hosted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings was arrested last night for illegal distribution of oxycodone, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  The investigation, initiated by the Seattle Police Department, revealed that the Nomadian Community Resource Center (NCRC) on South Orcas Street in Seattle was a hub for prescription drug dealing.  MICHAEL MARTIN SHEPARD, 64, was arrested last night and will appear this afternoon at 2:30 in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, in November 2012, a concerned citizen reported to Seattle Police that illegal drug sales were occurring in the Nomadian Community Resource Center.  The complaint alleges that SHEPARD would only deal drugs to those who became a “member” of the NCRC in an attempt to evade detection by law enforcement.  On five different occasions in January and February 2013, SHEPARD sold prescription drugs to a person working with law enforcement. Some of the sales occurred while being monitored or personally witnessed by undercover officers from the Seattle Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration. The sales occurred both before and after the NCRC hosted sanctioned AA meetings for addicts and alcoholics.  Further investigation revealed that SHEPHARD was obtaining the pills, in some instances, by purchasing prescriptions from those who had been prescribed the medication. 

SHEPARD was taken into custody without incident by the Seattle Police Department. Numerous prescription narcotics and two firearms were seized at the NCRC.

Distribution of Oxycodone is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.     The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Seattle Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).   The case is being prosecuted by Executive Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Bates.

Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.