In Columbia trial, a glimpse of ‘Uncle Teddy’s’ Oxycodone ring

A drug kingpin nicknamed “Uncle Teddy” who lived in a big house in the upscale Wildewood neighborhood in northeast Richland County.

An Irmo doctor who prescribed hundreds of Oxycodone pills a month to patients who resold them to “Uncle Teddy” so he could resell them.

Drug Enforcement Agency operatives who used hidden video cameras, secret microphones and GPS “trackers” attached to drug suspects’ vehicles.

It was all part of undisputed testimony by DEA agent Adam Roberson in federal court Monday about a once-thriving illegal Midlands prescription drug ring as a trial got under way involving charges against two alleged lower-level operatives, Calvin Sims and Daryal Hipp.

Sims and Hipp are charged with getting prescriptions for 300 30-milligram pills of Oxycodone a month from Irmo doctor Sean Fuller, then reselling them to drug lord Theodore “Uncle Teddy” Fulton. Fulton pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug trafficking and awaits sentencing.

Oxycodone, nicknamed Hillbilly Heroin, is highly addictive and widely abused. It’s a powerful painkiller that can induce euphoria and relaxation. “The larger the prescription, the larger the profit,” Roberson testified under questioning by assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday.

Testimony indicated that Fulton paid $7 a pill to people who brought him Oxycodone obtained through prescriptions written by Fuller and later filled at local pharmacies. Fulton then sold them at $25 a pill.

That meant Fulton could make about $5,400 tax-free for every bottle of 300 Oxycodone a supplier brought him, according to testimony.

Fuller, one of the doctors named Monday who prescribed Oxycodone to “Uncle Teddy’s” suppliers, is expected to testify in the trial. He is no longer allowed to prescribe narcotics such as Oxycodone, Roberson testified. According to the S.C. Board of Medical Examiners, Fuller, who does family practice medicine, is a physician in good standing.

Sims and Hipp pleaded not guilty. Eight other defendants pleaded guilty and are cooperating with federal officials.

The investigation received little publicity even when DEA agents, using a battering ram, broke down Fulton’s door at his mansion on Aug. 14, 2014, authorized by a search warrant. They found up to $60,000 in cash, a gun and hundreds of Oxycodone pills.

Fulton faces at least 20 years in prison, according to documents. He is free on $50,000 bond. Federal officials want to seize his home but cannot do so until he is sentenced.