The U.S. Attorney's office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a federal grand jury returned a six count superseding indictment charging two Berks County men with participating in an oxycontin (oxycodone) trafficking conspiracy that allegedly operated in the Schuylkill County area and elsewhere since July 2010.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, Stephen Nesspor, 52, and Richard Law II, 59, both of West Lawn, are charged with conspiring with each other and others to distribute oxycontin. The grand jury also charged Nesspor and Law with related counts of distribution of oxycontin.

The superseding indictment seeks the forfeiture to the U.S. of two residences in West Lawn, allegedly used by the two to facilitate their drug trafficking.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Smith noted that each of the defendants faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine up to $1 million, and a period of supervised release of between three years and life to follow any sentence of imprisonment if convicted of the conspiracy charge. Each count of distribution of oxycontin also carries a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and at least three years of supervised release.

The Department of Justice's National Drug Intelligence Center has noted that long term abuse of oxycontin can lead to physical dependence and addiction, similar to heroin addiction, which can result in withdrawal symptoms such as muscle and bone pain, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, cold flashes and involuntary leg movements if individuals cease using the drug. Large doses of the drug can cause severe respiratory depression that can lead to death.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.