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Vidor woman sentenced to 15 years for drug trafficking, opioid overdose deaths

After three people died in June 2019 after purchasing opiates from Catherine Ardis' house on FM 105, federal agents began investigating her, along with others.
Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Office

BEAUMONT, Texas — A woman from Vidor was sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking charges Friday. 

Catherine Ardis , 62, pleaded guilty Sept. 10, 2020 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, hydromorphone, and was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone on Jan. 22, Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said in a news release. 

After three people died in June 2019 after purchasing opiates from Ardis' house on FM 105 in Vidor, federal agents began investigating her, along with others, according to information presented in court. 

The victims died from poly-drug toxicity resulting from the use of hydromorphone pills, also referred to as Dilaudid, according to findings from medical examinations of the people who died. 

Ardis admitted that she sold the hydromorphone pills all three victims took. 

Prescription opiates require a doctor’s consultation and care for a reason,” Ganjei said. “Those that put the public at risk for a quick buck will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

The case was investigated by the DEA, Vidor Police, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Beaumont Police Department and Port Arthur Police Department and and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson. 

“This case is a tragic reminder that the abuse of opioids and other prescription pills is just as deadly as illicit narcotics, and those who traffic in diverted pharmaceuticals are held equally responsible under the law,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple said. “We hope that this case serves as a warning to those who illegally distribute pharmaceuticals or those who may abuse them.”

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