1 from Carson City, 8 from Reno including doctor arrested in ‘pill mill’ case
RENO — A Reno-area physician is among nine people, including current and former employees of a northern Nevada auto dealership, accused of running a deadly illegal prescription drug “pill mill,” federal officials said Friday.
Dr. Robert Rand was arrested Friday in San Francisco, and Richard Winston “Richie” West II was among eight defendants arrested Thursday in Reno and accused of distributing prescription opioid medications including oxycodone.
One person who received illicit oxycodone from Rand last September died, the government said in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
West, manager of Jones-West Ford in Reno, was due for arraignment Friday in U.S. District Court in Reno, along with Omar Ahsan Ahmad, Joshua Ross Green, Clint Mitchell Bloodworth, Kathleen Griffin, Alan Russel Martinez and Braden Kyle Riley, all of Reno, and Ryan Daniel Smith of Carson City.
Rand will face arraignment in San Francisco, federal officials said.
Ahmad, Griffin, Martinez, Bloodworth, and Riley were identified as Jones-West dealership employees. Green and Smith were identified as former employees.
All nine defendants face drug conspiracy and illegal use of a cellphone charges, according to the complaint.
Rand and West, the accused ringleaders, also face charges of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. Rand also is charged with distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death, and West faces three separate oxycodone distribution counts.
Records showed that West was being held at the Washoe County Jail. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
A message left at Rand’s medical office wasn’t immediately returned.
Prosecutors allege that for the last seven months, Rand prescribed oxycodone to the co-defendants, who then distributed the drug.