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Department Of Justice Goes After Pharmaceutical Distributors In Opioid Crisis

Bill Rinehart
U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman is flanked by representatives of the DEA and HHS.

A pharmaceutical distributor that was incorporated in Montgomery County, two of its former executives and two pharmacists are charged in what federal prosecutors say was a multi-million dollar conspiracy. U.S. District Attorney Ben Glassman says all of the defendants are charged with a single count of violating the controlled substances act.

"Specifically they and unnamed co-conspirators are alleged to have knowingly entered into an agreement to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical practice," Glassman says.

Indictments were unsealed Wednesday.

Glassman says in one instance Miami-Luken, and the other defendants provided more than 3.7 million hydrocodone pills to a pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, a town of 400 people.

Glassman says Anthony Rattini and James Barclay delivered millions of doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone to Westside Pharmacy in Oceana, West Virginia; Tug Valley Pharmacy in Williamson, West Virginia; and other pharmacies.

He says Miami-Luken shipped drugs "even after being advised by DEA of their responsibilities under the law, even when orders were suspicious, without maintaining controls or exercising due diligence to confirm the legitimacy of the orders, and even when they knew that the controlled substances were being diverted or were extremely likely to be diverted."

Glassman says three of the defendants, Rattini, Devonna Miller-West of Oceana, West Virginia, and Samuel "Randy" Ballengee of Lovely, Kentucky, are in custody. He encouraged the fourth, James Barclay of Springboro to surrender.

He believes there's only one other case where prosecutors are going after drug distributors, and that's in the Southern District of New York.