Convictions in Major Southern Ohio Pill Mill Case
May 23 (Cincinnati, OH) – A U.S. District Court jury has convicted a West Portsmouth, Ohio couple of operating Ohio Medical and Pain Management, LLC, in Waverly, Ohio as a continuing criminal enterprise, a crime punishable by at least 20 years and up to life imprisonment.
Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the verdict which was returned yesterday following three days of deliberation after a ten-day trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Sandra S. Beckwith.
In addition to conviction on the charge of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, the jury convicted clinic owner Nancy Sadler, 49, of West Portsmouth, Ohio and her husband, Lester Sadler, aka “Ape”, 56 of one count each of conspiracy and maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing drugs. The jury also convicted Nancy Sadler of one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering for the illegal purchase and sale of 40,200 units of hydrocodone. Each of those crimes is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Judge Beckwith remanded the Sadlers to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and ordered them held pending sentencing. She will schedule sentencing following a pre-sentence investigation by the court.
The government is seeking forfeiture of $1.8 million, based on testimony presented during the trial that the Sadlers were making $900,000 a year at the clinic.
Testimony presented during the trial proved that the clinic operated as a “pill mill” by selling prescriptions for controlled substances (usually oxycodone), without a legitimate medical need for the prescriptions. Many of the prescriptions were openly sold and diverted.
Testimony was presented during the trial that t he clinic was usually open three or four days per week. New customers were normally charged $180 for the initial visit. Returning customers were charged $125 to $150 per visit. Witnesses testified that the customers received no genuine examination by a physician.
Three others charged in the indictment that was returned in August 2010 have pled guilty. Lisa Clevenger, 50, of Stoutsville and a sister of Nancy Sadler, pled guilty on February 29, 2012 to one count of maintaining drug-involved premises. Lester Sadler’s father, James Sadler, 80, of West Portsmouth, pled guilty on December 20, 2011 to one count of conspiracy. Brenda Banks, 59, of Columbus, Ohio, formerly a physician at the clinic, pled guilty on April 30, 2012 to one count of acquiring or possessing a controlled substance through deception, punishable by up to four years in prison. All three are awaiting sentencing.
“This case grew from an ongoing investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies into the problem of prescription drug diversion,” Stewart said. “Prescription drug diversion and the related crimes that accompany it are emerging as an increasing threat to the region’s safety.”Stewart commended the agencies that participated the investigation as well as the Cincinnati-based Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tim Mangan and Tim Oakley, who prosecuted the case.