Pain clinic manager, customers charged with drug conspiracy

| Jun 7, 2021 | Firm News

Maryland pain clinics provide significant pain management to their clients. The usual treatment is one or more forms of pain killing medication. Unfortunately, the activities of these clinics can easily mask illegal drug distribution networks. Recent arrests in the Baltimore area demonstrate how such networks are created and how they operate.

The allegations

The criminal complaint against the six named defendants was filed in federal court in Baltimore on May 17 and was opened after the arrest of five of the six named defendants. The defendants include the manager of the pain clinic, her boyfriend, and four customers of the clinic. Five of the defendants were arrested and are currently in custody. The sixth suspect is being held in West Virginia on pending charges.

The Acting United States Attorney for Maryland described the drug distribution operation as alleged in the criminal complaint. The manager of the clinic had previously managed a clinic in Virginia and was, at the time of her arrest, managing a pain clinic in the District of Columbia. The complaint alleges that the woman was not a physician and did not have a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number. As such, she could not legally prescribed controlled substances. Instead, the woman is alleged to have forged prescriptions opioids. She allegedly stole prescription forms from doctors’ offices and forged the doctors’ signatures after the prescription forms were filled out. The forged prescription forms were then sold to alleged opioid users, including customers living in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The investigation revealed that the clinic manager sold forged prescriptions to the other defendants.

The complaint further alleges that the clinic manager instructed an undercover agent to claim a fictitious work injury to obtain a professional prescription for opioid use. When the supply ran out, the agent was given further instructions on methods of obtaining opioids without a legal prescription.

What next?

The defendants in this case are facing serious criminal charges. If convicted, each could receive a sentence of 20 years imprisonment. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A defenses lawyer with experience in handling drug cases can evaluate the evidence, suggest potential defense strategies, and, when appropriate, assist in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement.