It was a busy day for the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia as they are working on cases involving drug trafficking and bath salt abuse in the Ohio Valley.
Several indictments were made this week, and announced to the media Thursday during a news conference at Wheeling's federal building.
During today's news conference, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia William Ihlenfeld, II said that Dr. Douglas Broderick, 45, of New Jersey, is alleged to have supplied large quantities of painkillers to his customers. Many of his customers traveled long distances to get their medicine from Broderick.
Ihlenfeld said Broderick's businesses in Jacksonville, Fla. and Rock Hill, S.C. only accepted cash, a trait of what sometimes is referred to as a pill mill.
Many of his customers were prescribed Oxycodone.
Some of Broderick's customers from the Ohio Valley returned to West Virginia and Ohio and re-sold the drugs they purchased from him for profit. Those individuals, Ihlenfeld said have also been indicted.
Jack Adkins, 42, of Moundsville, and John Burress 39, of Martins Ferry were also indicted this week in this case.
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"In every drug case we investigate, we try to move up the chain and try to identify a source of supply. This is exactly what we did in this case. The unique thing in this case that source of supply happened to be a medical doctor. This is unusual for cases typically seen in this area or for that matter in any part of country. But my office, DEA and other agencies feel it's important to address all parties who have culpability in this matter. The source of supply is the person who supplied the controlled substance and in this case, it's alleged to be Dr. Broderick," U.S. Attorney for the Northern District William J. Ihlenfeld, II said.
During the news conference, Attorney Ihlenfeld also talked about the growing problem of bath salt abuse in the Northern Panhandle.
Phillip Hamilton, Jr., 35, and Steven Kloh, 34, were arrested today in Middlebourne, W.Va., both on a three count indictment. Count one states that both men conspired to distribute bath salts in Tyler County back in September.
Hamilton was released on bond today while Kloh is currently lodged in the Northern Regional Jail. If convicted, both men could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million on each count of that indictment.
As for Dr. Broderick, Ihlenfeld said he was charged by a federal grand jury with the felony offense of "conspiracy to distribute schedule two controlled substances".
He is scheduled to appear before Federal Magistrate Judge James Seibert in Wheeling on December 22 at 10 a.m. He is free on bond.