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60 arrested across 5 states in 'Appalachia' opioid takedown, including physicians and nurse practitioners.

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ABC News

By Luke Barr Apr 17, 2019 2:41 PM

60 arrested across 5 states in 'Appalachia' opioid takedown

Defendants range from physicians to nurse practitioners.

Quote

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that 60 people across five states, including more than 30 physicians, were charged in connection with millions of illegal prescription opioids in a takedown by its "Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force."

The states are Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. Some cases were developed years ago and are being brought to light with the new cases being unsealed on Wednesday....

...According to the Justice Department, the suspects wrote some 350,000 prescriptions and distributed 32 million pills....

 

Full DOJ news release: Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force Takedown Results in Charges Against 60 Individuals, Including 53 Medical Professionals

  • Middle District of Tennessee:   ...In another case, an advanced practice registered nurse at a pain management clinic allegedly wrote prescriptions for opioids that had no legitimate medical purpose and that were outside the usual course of professional practice....
  • Western District of Tennessee:    15 individuals were charged, involving eight doctors and several other medical professionals.  In one case, a nurse practitioner who branded himself the “Rock Doc,” allegedly prescribed powerful and dangerous combinations of opioids and benzodiazepines, sometimes in exchange for sexual favors; over approximately three years, the doctor allegedly prescribed approximately 500,000 hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches, and more than 600,000 benzodiazepine pills.  In another case, a nurse practitioner charged with conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances allegedly prescribed over  500,000 Hydrocodone pills, approximately 300,000 Oxycodone pills, and approximately 300,000 benzodiazepine pills (mostly Alprazolam), along with a myriad of other controlled substances.  In another case, a physician charged with controlled substances and health care fraud violations allegedly prescribed approximately 300,000 hydrocodone pills, 200,000 oxycodone pills, 2,500 fentanyl patches, and 180,000 benzodiazepine pills, and prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment that was billed to Medicare. ..
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania: a former licensed practical nurse allegedly filled fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone in her name and in the names of others at a local pharmacy in order to obtain the pills for herself and to distribute to others...

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WASHINGTON – Attorney General William P. Barr and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II, together with multiple law enforcement partners, today announced enforcement actions involving 60 charged defendants across 11 federal districts, including 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners, and seven other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in the illegal prescribing and distributing of opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes.

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In the Northern District of Alabama, multiple individuals were charged in five cases, including four doctors. They are: Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney, Dr. Marshall Plotka, Dr. John Cimino and Dr. Elizabeth Korcz. Katherine Barnett is named in the complaint with Cimino.

Lloyd-Turney operates Choice Medicine Clinic in Toney, and Plotka is founder and Chief Medical Officer of Phoenix Emergency Care in Huntsville.

 

Quote

If you, a family member, friend or loved one believe you may be a victim in any of these cases or in connection with any charged defendant, please visit the following website for additional information: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/ARPO

 

The official dockets are on the website and there's a link in the original article

https://www.waaytv.com/content/news/Feds-charge-4-North-Alabama-doctors-in-opioid-scheme-508698181.html

 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/appalachian-regional-prescription-opioid-arpo-strike-force-takedown-results-charges-against

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Actually, only eight of those arrested are in Alabama. The remaining 52 are in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Louisiana.

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When I looked up the "Rock Doc" in TN, it seemed like he was just begging to be arrested.

Seek and ye shall find.

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