CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK)- The Justice Department announced on Tuesday the Appalachian Region Prescription Opioid strike force executed their second takedown. This effort resulted in 13 people charged, 11 of them were doctors.
All were charged with offenses related to the over prescription of drugs. These individuals are accused of distributing more than 17 million pills.
“Medical professionals who violate their solemn oaths and peddle opioids for profit should know that we will find you and ensure that the justice system treats you like the drug dealer you are,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Those charged include:
Troy Balgo, D.O., 53, of Saint Clairsville, Ohio
George Griffin, M.D., 70, of Cincinnati, Ohio
Thomas Romano, M.D., 69, of Wheeling, West Virginia
Freeda Flynn, M.D., 66, of Saint Clairsville, Ohio
Dr. Michael Shramowiat, 66, of Vienna, West Virginia
Dr. Ricky Houdersheldt, 67, of Ona, West Virginia
Dr. Sriramloo Kesari, 77, of Charleston, West Virginia
Julie Wheeler, 43, of Oak Hill, West Virginia
Frank McNeil, M.D., 78, of Knoxville, Tennessee
Samuel Mcgaha, M.D., 69, of Sevierville, Tennessee
Erin Pealor, 35, of Memphis
The ARPO Strike Force has so far charged more than 70 defendants who are responsible for distributing more than 40 million pills.