Defunct opioid distributor faces criminal charges

Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against former opioid distributor Miami-Luken and two of its former executives, according to The Washington Post. 

Prosecutors accused the now-defunct Miami-Luken, its former president Anthony Rattini and former compliance officer James Barclay of fueling the opioid crisis by conspiring with physicians and pharmacies to distribute millions of addictive pain pills into Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. The indictment claims the company and its executives ignored "obvious signs" the drugs were being diverted to illegal users.

Two pharmacists that owned small drugstores in West Virginia, Devonna Miller-West and Samuel Ballengee, also were charged. Prosecutors claim the two pharmacists dispensed large amounts of opioids from Miami-Luken to pill mills. The indictment claims Miami-Luken sent 4.9 million pills to Dr. Miller-West's pharmacy that served a population of 1,394 people and 6 million pills to Dr. Ballengee's pharmacy, which served 2,800 people between 2008 and 2014.

They all face up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment is the second time federal prosecutors have brought criminal charges against a drug distributor for its role in the opioid crisis. 

Miami-Luken went out of business last year. 

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