Texas doctor charged in connection with suspected Logan pill mil - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Texas doctor charged in connection with suspected Logan pill mill

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A doctor who formerly practiced in Logan County has been charged in connection with an alleged Logan County pill mill.

Dr. Fernando Gonzales-Ramos now lives in Texas. Ramos, 47, of El Paso was charged with conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.

According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's Office, Gonzales-Ramos was charged last week in a legal filing known as an information, which typically signals that a defendant has agreed to plead guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.

According to the information filed on Monday, from December 2012 through March 3, 2013, Gonzales-Ramos knowingly dispensed controlled substances for illegitimate medical purposes.

According to a criminal complaint from the FBI, on March 2, 2013, an individual cooperating with law enforcement entered a building located in Logan that the defendant used at the time to distribute narcotics and paid $450 cash in exchange for a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone.

Early the next day, law enforcement agents observed several people waiting outside the same building. Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on the building. During the execution of the warrant, agents discovered a number of individuals waiting inside to get written prescriptions.

Law enforcement agents also discovered that the building did not have an examination table or basic medical equipment such as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, or scales. The search conducted by law enforcement further revealed no running water in the building.

The investigation also revealed that employees working in the building at the time were an armed security guard, a bodyguard carrying brass knuckles, and a nurse/receptionist.

Gonzales-Ramos faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine as a result of the charge filed by Goodwin. No court date has been set.