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Ohio doctor accused of drug distribution may be in Pakistan

Authorities believe that a physician who reportedly distributed large quantities of prescription painkillers to individuals who had no legitimate need for the medications is now in Pakistan. A warrant was issued for the doctor, who did not appear at his arraignment on Sept. 4. The physician was charged in August with distributing doses of prescription painkillers to people with no medical need for them, say authorities.

The 46-count indictment says that the doctor operated a pain management clinic in Solon, where he reportedly prescribed painkillers such as Opana, Oxycontin and Percocet. The indictment is seeking the asset forfeiture of 139 pieces of jewelry with an estimated value over $90,000 and over $4.8 million in accounts that are controlled by the doctor. The doctor is being charged with eight counts of money laundering, 36 counts of distribution of controlled substances, one count of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

The fact that someone who is charged with a crime is no longer in the country may make it more difficult for the defendant to be prosecuted. In many cases, individuals can be extradited from another country to face criminal charges in the United States. In that event, the defendant may face additional charges in connection with missing court dates such as an arraignment and leaving the jurisdiction.

A defense attorney may review the charges and the circumstances of the case to find the best possible defense strategy. If law enforcement made serious errors in processing evidence or violated a defendant's rights during the investigation, the attorney might be able to have the case dismissed or the charges dropped. Alternatively, the defendant may agree to a plea bargain.

Source: FOX 8 Cleveland, "Local doctor indicted for illegal drug distribution is believed to be in Pakistan", Darcie Loreno, September 05, 2014

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