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Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Surge Takedown


Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Surge Takedown

Latest Updates: On February 27, 2024, defendant Alicia Taylor was sentenced to 3 years probation and a $100 special assessment.

On February 12, 2024, defendant Gregory Madron was dismissed on Count 1 of Conspiracy to Distribute and Dispense Controlled Substances in case number 3:23-CR-80.

Criminal Charges: The Department has announced enforcement actions against defendants across 11 federal districts for their alleged participation in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes. The cases listed below have been announced as part of these law enforcement actions.

Click here for the latest case updates.

For more information about the ARPO Surge Takedown and other actions the Department is taking to combat the opioid crisis, please see below:

ARPO Strike Force Takedown, April 17, 2019 Press Release

ARPO Second Strike Force Takedown, September 24, 2019 Press Release

Heroin and Opioid Awareness

Assistance for those with medical needs who may have been impacted by the ARPO Surge Takedown enforcement actions:

For any patients impacted by the law enforcement actions, DOJ, DEA, HHS-OIG, HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the following five State Departments of Health are deploying federal and state-level strategies to address patient harm and ensure continuity of care. Additional information regarding available treatment programs and where patients can turn for assistance is as follows:

Alabama: The Alabama Department of Mental Health has a dedicated telephone number to connect those affected by the closure. The toll-free substance abuse number is 1-844-307-1760. Information about substance abuse and opioids is available at the following websites:

Florida: If you are in Florida and are suffering with addition you can find help by calling 1-800-662-4357 or by finding local services at

Kentucky: If you are in Kentucky and are suffering with addiction you can find help by calling 833-8KY-HELP or logging in at

Ohio: If you are seeking help in Ohio, please call the OhioMHAS patient helpline, at 1-877-275-6364

New Jersey:  If you are seeking help in New Jersey, please call the REACH Helpline at 1-844-732-2465.

Tennessee: If you are seeking help in Tennessee:

  • For a referral to addiction treatment services, call the Tennessee REDLINE: 800-889-9789.
  • In a mental health crisis, call the Statewide Crisis Line: 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471).
  • For help accessing substance abuse or mental health services call the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Helpline: 800-560-5767 or 615-532-6700.  This line is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT.

West Virginia: If you are in West Virginia and are suffering with addiction you can find help by calling 1-844-HELP-4WV or logging in at

For individuals seeking help in other states, please call 1-800-662-HELP

If you, a family member, friend, or loved one believe you may be a victim in any of these cases or in connection with any charged defendant, you may submit a Victim Impact Statement.

Northern District of Alabama

United States v. Francene Aretha Gayle and Schara Monique Davis – Court Docket Number: 5:22-CR-00113-AKK-HNJ

United States v. Elizabeth Korcz, M.D., Matthew Korcz, and Austin Haskew – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-00193-RDP-JHE

United States v. Tanya Mentzer – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-00214-RDP-SGC

United States v. Celia Lloyd-Turney, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 5:19-cr-00150-LCB-JHE

United States v. Marshall Plotka, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 5:19-mj-00164-SGC

United States v. Christopher Edward Wray – Court Docket Number: 5:19-mj-00163-SGC

United States v. John Cimino and Katherine Barnett – Court Docket Number: 5:19-mj-00165-SGC

Southern District of Florida

United States v. Casey Kelleher – Court Docket Number: 22-CR-80072

Eastern District of Kentucky

United States v. Jay Sadrinia, D.M.D. – Court Docket Number: 2:22-CR-00028-DLB-CJS

United States v. Loey Kousa, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 7:22-CR-00008-REW-EBA

United States v. Crystal Compton, D.O. and Kayla Lambert – Court Docket Number: 7:22-CR-00007-REW-EBA

United States v. Kendall Hansen, M.D. – Court Docket Number 2:21-cr-63

United States v. Denver D. Tackett, DMD - Court Docket Number: 3:19-cr-00024-GFVT-MAS

United States v. Scotty R. Akers, M.D. and Serissa L. Collier, a/k/a “Serissa L. Stamper” – Court Docket Number: 7:19-cr-00007-REW-EBA

United States v. Mohammed A. H. Mazumder, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-cr-00023-GFVT-MAS

United States v. Sai P. Gutti, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-cr-00022-GFVT-MAS

Western District of Kentucky

United States v. AssuredRX, LLC, Christopher Nelson, and Nitesh Patel – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00058-CRS

United States v. Gary Green – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00057-DJH

United States v. Ijaz Mahmood, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00059-CHB-CHL

District of New Jersey

United States v. Robert Taffet and Merritt Thomas – Court Docket Number: 1:22-MJ-02023-AMD

Southern District of Ohio

United States v. Eskender Getachew, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 2:22-CR-00068-MHW

United States v. Charles Kistler, D.O. – Court Docket Number: 2:22-CR-00067-ALM

United States v. Troy Balgo – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00197           

United States v. Morris L. Brown, Ismail Abuhanieh, Mahmoud Rifai, Mahmoud Elmiari, and Yohannes Tinsae – Court Docket Number: 3:19-cr-00068-WHR

United States v. Raymond Noschang – Court Docket Number: 1:19-cr-00038-SJD

Unites States v. George Griffin – Court Docket Number 1:19-CR-00112

United States v. Thomas Romano – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00202

United States v. Freeda Flynn – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00208

Eastern District of Tennessee

United States v. Yogeshwar “Garry” Gill – Court Docket Number: 4:22-CR-11

United States v. Harrison Yang – Court Docket Number: 4:19-CR-00015

United States v. Steven Mynatt and David Newman – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00059

United States v. Henry Babenco, Sharon Naylor, Alicia Taylor, and Gregory Madron – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00060

United States v. Charles Brooks Jr. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00051

United States v. Frank McNiel, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00170

United States v. Samuel Mcgaha, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-cr-00169

Middle District of Tennessee

United States v. Contessa Holley – Court Docket Number: 1:22-CR-00003

United States v. Hau T. La – Court Docket Number: 3:22-CR-00163

United States v. Brian Richey, Daniel Seeley, and Jonathan White – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00095

United States v. Darrel R. Rinehart, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 1:19-CR-00008

United States v. Lawrence J. Valdez – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00092

United States v. Bowdoin G. Smith - Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00005

United States v. Timothy C. Abbott – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00004

United States v. John M. Polston – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00006

United States v. Heather L. Marks and Hemal V. Mehta – Court Docket Number: 2:19-CR-00003

Western District of Tennessee

United States v. Jeffrey W. Young, Jr., Alexander Alperovich, M.D., and Andrew Rudin, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 1:19-cr-10040-JDB

United States v. Britney Petway, N.P. and Charles Alston, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 1:19-cr-10041-JDB

United States v. Michelle N. Bonifield and Glenn R. Bonifield, Jr., – Court Docket Number: 19-cr-10044-JDB

United States v. Thomas Kelly Ballard, III, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 1:19-cr-10042-STA

United States v. Kathryn Nikole Russell – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-20078-TLP

United States v. Michael Hellman – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-20080-JPM

United States v. Dr. Richard Farmer – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-20075-TLP

United States v. Jay Shires, M.D., Loran Karlosky, M.D., and Mary Ann Bond – Court Docket Number: 1:19-cr-10043-JDB

United States v.James Litton – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-20083-SHL

Northern District of West Virginia

United States v. Chad H. Poage, D.O. – Court Docket Number: 1:19-CR-00024

Southern District of West Virginia

United Sates v. Ricky L. Houdersheldt, D.O. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-00239

United Sates v. Michael Shramowiat, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 2:19-00240

United Sates v. Sriramloo Kesari, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 2:19-00241

United States v. Frederick De Mesa – Court Docket Number: 1:22-CR-00092

United States v. Marc J. Spelar, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 3:19-CR-00101

Eastern District of Louisiana

United States v. Anil Prasad, M.D. – Court Docket Number: 2:19-cr-00071-JTM-MBN

Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that an indictment contains allegations only, and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  That presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 377I(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the government (or the court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.

Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at, and we will put you in touch with the prosecutor.

Updated March 11, 2024