UPDATE: Former Portsmouth Pill Mill Owner Sentenced to 14 Years

By: The Associated Press, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: The Associated Press, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 5/21/14 @ 11:40 a.m.
CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP/WSAZ) – The former owner of two pain clinics in Portsmouth area, who a federal prosecutor said unleashed an illegal "pill tsunami" on southern Ohio, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Tracy Bias, 49, of West Portsmouth, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

In May 2013, Bias pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Last week, prosecutors recommended that Bias be sentenced to more 19 years in prison. His attorney argued for no more than 10 years.

A judge already ordered Bias to forfeit $6.3 million.

Bias owned and operated Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth, and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus, Ohio

Prosecutors say dozens of customers a week would travel hundreds of miles to visit clinics owned by Bias, paying $200 per visit for painkillers.

They say the pill mills contributed to the deaths of two people.



UPDATE 5/19/14
CINCINNATI (WSAZ) - A former owner of two pain clinics in the Portsmouth area could be sentenced to 235 month in prison on Wednesday, according to the sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors on Friday.

Tracy Bias, 49, of West Portsmouth, Ohio owned and operated Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth, and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus, Ohio

In May 2013, Bias pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The plea carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Bias is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Wednesday in U.S District Court in Cincinnati.

Three of the doctors who worked at the clinic and indicted by a grand jury in April 2012 will also be sentenced Wednesday.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/16/14
CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal judge has set sentencing dates for the owner of two former pain clinics in the Portsmouth area, along with six doctors who worked there.

A federal grand jury indicted the seven people in April 2012. The 12 count indictment alleged that the defendants conspired to write prescriptions for powerful pain medications outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, and that their conspiracy resulted in the death of at least one customer.

Tracy Bias, 49, of West Portsmouth, Ohio owned and operated Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth, and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus, Ohio.

The doctors charged in the indictment were:
Joon H. Chong, Coldwater, Michigan,
John Dalhsten, Burlington, Iowa,
Mark R. Fantauzzi, unknown
Marcellus Jajuan Gilreath, Cleveland, Ohio,
Stephen L. Pierce, Gallup, New Mexico,
James E. Lassiter, Findlay, Ohio.

Prosecutors said Bias secured doctors for brief periods of time, ranging from one day to several years, through temporary service contracts to prescribe pain medication for customers at his clinics.

For cash payment of approximately $200 per office visit, and with little or no physical examination, customers would receive excessive amounts of “cocktails” of controlled substances including diazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprazalam.

In May 2013, Bias pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The plea carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

The six doctors also made plea deals in the case.

Bias and five of the doctors will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati on May 21. The 6th doctor will be sentenced in June.

No sentencing date has been set for an eighth defendant in the case. Steve Hillman, of Dublin, pleaded guilty last month to failing to file federal income taxes.


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