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Press Release

Doctor And Her Granddaughter Indicted For Drug Conspiracy And Unlawful Distribution Of Opioids

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Janet Pettyjohn (77, Spring Hill) and Shelly Gallagher (34, Brooksville) with conspiracy to distribute drugs. The indictment also charges Pettyjohn with 21 substantive counts, and Gallagher with 9 substantive counts, of unlawful drug distribution. If convicted, Pettyjohn and Gallagher each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. The indictment notifies Pettyjohn that the United States intends to forfeit $34,132 in U.S. currency, which is alleged to be traceable to proceeds of her criminal conduct.

According to the indictment, Pettyjohn was an osteopathic physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of Florida with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number to prescribe controlled substances. In July 2020, Florida’s Board of Osteopathic Medicine (BOM) restricted Pettyjohn from prescribing opioids due to complaints about the manner in which she prescribed controlled substances. After the BOM’s Final Order and the prescribing restriction took effect, Pettyjohn continued to prescribe opioids in violation of the Final Order. The BOM later lifted the prescribing restriction in March 2021.

Gallagher is Pettyjohn’s granddaughter and did not hold a medical license. Between March 2021 and February 2023, Gallagher sponsored patients at Pettyjohn’s clinic and ordered controlled substances for herself and others from Pettyjohn. Pettyjohn knowingly and intentionally prescribed the controlled substances for Gallagher and others for no legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice, which Gallagher and others abused and diverted.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration—Tampa District Office, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, and by the Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office, which focuses on opioid-related fraud and abuse by medical and health care professionals who have contributed to the prescription opioid epidemic. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Greg Pizzo.

Updated November 7, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs