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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Feb. 2, 2012                   


MINGO COUNTY PHARMACIST PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO ACQUIRE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES BY FRAUD

Thousands of Pills Involved in Conspiracy Including Hydrocodone

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A licensed West Virginia pharmacist appeared today in federal court and pleaded guilty before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. to conspiracy to acquire or obtain controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge.  James P. Wooley, 76, of Louisa, Kentucky, was the owner and operator of Stronsnider Drug Store, Inc. which conducted its business operations as SAV-RITE Pharmacy in two locations near Kermit, Mingo County, W.Va.

An investigation revealed that from June 2006 through September 2006, Wooley and other licensed pharmacists under his direction, illegally dispensed controlled substances to patients from Justice Medical Clinic (“JMC”) located in Kermit.  Wooley admitted that he knew that the prescriptions that were issued to various patients at the time were not valid.  The prescriptions in which the defendant and his employees dispensed were not valid because the controlled substances were distributed without a doctor’s written approval. 

In addition, at the time the controlled substances were distributed by the defendant and his employees, Justice Medical Clinic was closed for failing to obtain a Certificate of Need from the West Virginia State Health Care Authority. 

Wooley admitted that during the scheme, he issued numerous illegal prescriptions using a registered physician’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number between June and September 2006 without the physician’s consent.   

Wooley faces up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 3, 2012. 

This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, remain committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets and curtailing the illegal spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Assistant United States Attorney Steven Loew is in charge of the prosecution. 

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