Mingo County Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison Time for Conspiracy to Acquire Controlled Substances by Fraud
Pharmacist Linked to Former Mingo County Pill Mill
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2012|
CHARLESTON, WV—U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a former West Virginia pharmacist was sentenced on Thursday (November 15) to six months in federal prison, along with one year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine, for conspiracy to acquire or obtain controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, and subterfuge. James P. Wooley, 77, of Louisa, Kentucky, previously pleaded guilty in February. Wooley was the owner and operator of Stronsnider Drug Store Inc., which conducted its business operations as SAV-RITE Pharmacy in two locations near Kermit, Mingo County, West Virginia. Wooley’s conviction stems from a multi-year federal investigation of Justice Medical Clinic, a Mingo County pill mill that has been shut down as a result of the probe.
An investigation revealed that from June 2006 through September 2006, Wooley and other licensed pharmacists under his direction illegally dispensed controlled substances to patients from Justice Medical Clinic, located in Kermit. Wooley admitted that he knew that the prescriptions that were issued to various patients at the time were not valid. The prescriptions that the defendant and his employees dispensed were not valid because the controlled substances were distributed without a doctor’s written approval.
In addition, at the time the controlled substances were distributed by the defendant and his employees, Justice Medical Clinic was closed for failing to obtain a Certificate of Need from the West Virginia State Health Care Authority.
Wooley admitted that during the scheme, he issued numerous illegal prescriptions using a registered physician’s Drug Enforcement Administration number between June and September 2006 without the physician’s consent.
Several individuals have been sentenced to prison terms in connection with a multi-year law enforcement investigation of Justice Medical. Cameron Justice, former owner and president of Justice Medical was sentenced in August 2010 to two-and-a-half years in federal prison for conspiring to misuse a DEA registration number to distribute prescription painkillers and Medicare fraud. In May 2010, Dr. John T. Tiano was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, along with three years of supervised release, for aiding and abetting health care fraud. Also, in August 2010, Dr. Augusto T. Abad was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, along with three years of supervised release, for aiding and abetting health care fraud.
Wooley has also paid a $500,000 fine in a related civil case for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Loew handled the prosecution. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.