FRONT ROYAL, Va. (WRIC) — A Front Royal woman was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this week for her role in masterminding a pill-mill scheme in Northern Virginia that saw her move tens of thousands of illicit oxycodone pills over the course of a decade.
Candie Calix — known by a number of pseudonyms including “Summer Angel,” “Candie Kendall” and “Nicole Thomas” — worked alongside her co-defendants, Kendall Sovereign and Jessica Talbott, as well as unnamed, but complicit, doctor and pharmacist to deal dangerous narcotics obtained through fraudulent prescriptions from 2012 to March 2022.
According to court documents verified by Calix herself as part of a plea agreement, she worked on paper as an office assistant for a doctor operating a home practice near Front Royal — but in reality, she was acting as the doctor’s distribution network.
Calix acted as a “gatekeeper” for the doctor, referring patients to him, including her own family members, who would kick back part of their supply to her for sale, while keeping a smaller portion to feed their own addictions.
Over the decade she operated this scheme, Calix was prescribed 39,768 30-mg Oxycodone pills, as well as 9,296 15-mg pills. The doctor also prescribed large amounts of Oxycodone to her extended family, including her siblings, parents, grandparents and even one great-grandparent, all of whom lived together on a single property near Front Royal.
But Calix was not living in poverty. According to several inmates who acted as witnesses and informants, assisting the FBI in unraveling the scheme, Calix would sell the pills for about $25 each or have addicts reliant on her supply sell them on her behalf.
Over the course of that decade, according to investigators, the income from the scheme was “not less than approximately $5,000 a month.”
One source described Calix as regularly carrying around hundreds of dollars in cash, as well as dozens of Oxycodone and methadone pills. Calix and her husband, the source said, “stay at extravagant hotels when they travel.”
The source described one instance where Calix spent $800 at a bridal store, in cash, “without hesitation.”
But the scheme took its toll on Calix. Her co-conspirator, Talbott, described how in 2015, one of her customers died of an overdose, causing Calix to become increasingly paranoid and controlling.
In 2021, investigators cinched the case, built on prescription records and the testimony of incarcerated sources who had been supplied by Calix, by setting up an informant to buy Oxycodone from Kendall Sovereign.
Over the course of months, the informant made multiple purchases from Sovereign, and from their conversations learned that Calix was also sending pills to a dealer in Maryland, where they were sold for a markup of $40 each.
SOVEREIGN: Yep. I’ll do that. I’ll tell her to put some up for you. INFORMANT: Alright SOVEREIGN: I know his cousin is the one you know that gets a 100. INFORMANT: Oh SOVEREIGN: He gets a 100 at a time. INFORMANT: That a**hole. 100 at a time? SOVEREIGN: Yeah INFORMANT: What the f**k. SOVEREIGN: Yeah. That’s why she goes through ‘em so quick you know. INFORMANT: No wonder. SOVEREIGN: And he doesn’t ask for a discount. INFORMANT: Oh, yeah? SOVEREIGN: Yeah, ‘cause he can still get rid of them for 40 bucks in Maryland. INFORMANT: He gets rid of them for $40 apiece in Maryland? SOVEREIGN: Yep. INFORMANT: Bulls**t. SOVEREIGN: That’s our hot spot. INFORMANT: 40 BUCKS!! SOVEREIGN: 40 bucks. Isn’t that crazy? INFORMANT: That is crazy
Calix will now serve 7 years in prison, with her co-conspirators Sovereign and Talbott serving 4.5 years and 3.5 years, respectively. Because the names of the pharmacist and doctor who made the scheme possible were obscured by prosecutors and law enforcement, it’s unclear what consequences, if any, they faced.