Judge sentences Knoxville pill mill operator to more than 33 years in prison, forfeiture of $3.6 million

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman found guilty of distributing more than 11 million tablets of oxycodone, oxymorphone, and morphine has been sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.

District Judge Thomas A. Varlan sentenced Sylvia Hofstetter, 56, of Miami to 400 months behind bars on Wednesday. Hofstetter has also been ordered to pay $3.6 million of the $4 million she made operating pill mills in Knoxville and Hollywood, Florida.

“The extraordinary damage done to communities by pill mills is difficult to quantify and
remains ongoing,” Assistant Attorney General Rabbit stated. “This prosecution demonstrates that
the Department of Justice commitment to combating the opioid crisis and those individuals who
profited from it.”

Hofstetter was found guilty by a jury on Feb. 13, of racketeer influenced and corrupt
organization conspiracy, two counts of drug conspiracy, money laundering offenses, and
maintaining drug-involved premises.

The evidence at trial proved that the pill mills owned and operated by Hofstetter and her
co-defendants generated more than $21 million in revenue, with a corresponding street value of $360 million. The conspiracy involved four separate clinics in Tennessee. Before coming to Tennessee, Hofstetter worked at a pill mill in Hollywood, Florida owned by three of her co-defendants.

“The Eastern District of Tennessee remains at the forefront in the battle against illegal
pain clinics and the mass-prescribing of opioids,” U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. said “Through the cooperation and hard work of our local, state, and federal agencies, we continue to pursue and
prosecute those who seek to endanger our communities by illegally distributing prescription pain
killers. Let this sentencing serve as a deterrent for those who seek to profit from fueling a tragic
cycle of addiction and pain killer abuse.”


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