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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Fallon Doctor And Sparks Nurse Indicted For Unlawfully Prescribing Opioids

RENO, Nev. – A doctor and nurse were charged in a 15 count indictment alleging they conspired to prescribe opioids not in the usual course of professional practice, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Neill of the DEA.

Dr. Gary Ridenour, 71, of Fallon, and Derek Braddix, 36, of Sparks, were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises. In addition, Dr. Ridenour was charged with six counts of distribution of schedule II, III, IV substances hydrocodone, Tylenol with codeine, and alprazolam. Braddix was charged with four counts of distribution of Hydrocodone and three counts of distribution of Alprazolam. Dr. Ridenour was detained yesterday until September 4, when his detention hearing will continue. Braddix is on conditions of pretrial release.

As alleged in the indictment, from 2016 to February 2019, Dr. Ridenour and Braddix conspired to prescribe and did prescribe Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Alprazolam, and Carisoprodol, all without a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice. Furthermore, they maintained a medical practice along Reno Highway in Fallon, Nevada when they unlawfully prescribed these substances. 

In an unrelated indictment, Dr. Ridenour was also charged for unlawful possession of a .22 caliber rifle, a .17 caliber rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, and a 7.62 caliber rifle after having a prior felony conviction in Nevada.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The unlawful opioid distribution conspiracy case was investigated by the DEA and the unlawful possession of firearms case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney James Keller is prosecuting these cases.

If you have a tip or information about illegal sales or distribution of prescription opioids by doctors and pharmacies, call the DEA at 1-877-RX-Abuse (792-2873).

The Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit is a program that utilizes data to identify and prosecute individuals that are contributing to the prescription opioid epidemic. Since 2017, when the Department of Justice funded a dedicated opioid prosecutor in the District of Nevada, the United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted about 12 opioid-related cases and charged about 24 defendants.

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Topic(s): 
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated August 28, 2019