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Pain clinic owners charged for unlawful drug distribution

Federal prosecutors in Maryland say four pain clinics were being used to distribute oxycodone for non-medical purposes. Sixteen people, including the owners of the pain clinics, were indicted for their alleged roles in the drug distribution conspiracy. Some of the drug-related offenses the individuals are charged for include conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and health care fraud.

The pain clinics that were named in the indictments are PG Wellness Center, First Priority Health Care and MPC Wellness Center, all of which are located in Maryland, as well as A Plus Pain Clinic in Washington, D.C. Prosecutors allege that the owners of these clinics used 'runners" to subvert drug monitoring programs by completing patient paperwork at their clinics and then filling fraudulent drug prescriptions at pharmacies. The runners would then turn over the pills to the drug distributors to be sold for cash.

If they are convicted, some of the defendants in this case will face a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars and a $1 million fine. Property and money may also be seized from the defendants. According to prosecutors, three of the clinics would see 400 patients each month and distribute 40,000 pills. The fourth clinic saw 200 patients every month and distributed 20,000 pills.

A doctor who has been charged with drug-related offenses might argue that they prescribed medication to patients in good faith, but some patients were dishonest about their symptoms. An attorney may be able to help a doctor in this situation to gather evidence to prove their innocence such as patient records and positive character witnesses.

Source: NBC Washington, "16 Indicted in Maryland "Pill Mill" Ring Bust," Marina di Marzo, May 28, 2015

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