RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A federal grand jury in Reno has indicted Robert Rand M.D. and eight others on felony drug conspiracy and other charges, according to U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. The indictment replaces the prior criminal complaint, and is required for the government to prosecute the defendants on the felony charges.
“We are using all legal tools at our disposal to discover, disrupt and dismantle illegal traffic in pharmaceutical controlled substances,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We are making significant progress in Nevada, and have disrupted a number of so-called pill mills. Our efforts in this area continue, and I am optimistic that we can reverse the alarming upward trend of illegal trafficking of prescription drugs.”
Robert Gene Rand, 53, Richard Winston West II, aka Richie West, 38, Omar Ahsan Ahmad, 31, Joshua Ross Green, 34, Clint Mitchell Bloodworth, 40, Kathleen Griffin, 43, Alan Russel Martinez, 59, and Braden Kyle Riley, 40, all of Reno, and Ryan Daniel Smith, 40, of Carson City, are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, such as oxycodone. Rand is also charged with one count of distribution of oxycodone resulting in death and one count of distribution of fentanyl. West is also charged with three counts of distribution of oxycodone, two counts of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, two count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, two counts of possession with intent to distribute psilocyn, and two counts of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
May 11, West, Bloodworth, and Green had their arraignments and pleaded not guilty. Trial is set for July 19. West is still in custody. Bloodworth and Green are released with conditions. Ahmad, Martinez, Riley, Smith, and Griffin are set for May 13. They are all currently released with conditions. No arraignment date has been set for Rand.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Rand also faces a minimum mandatory 20 years in prison on the distribution count resulting in death. West also faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the other drug counts, a consecutive mandatory minimum five years in prison as to the first firearm count, and a consecutive mandatory minimum 25 years in prison as to the second firearm count.
At the time of the criminal conduct, defendant Rand was a Nevada-licensed physician who operates Rand Family Care in Reno and defendant West was the manager of the Jones-West Ford dealership. All the other defendants were also employees at one time of the vehicle dealership. Rand allegedly prescribed narcotics, such as oxycodone, without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of his professional practice. Beginning on about Nov. 13, 2012, and continuing to about April 28, 2016, Rand allegedly issued prescriptions for substantial amounts of oxycodone to his co-defendants, who filled the prescriptions at local pharmacies and illicitly distributed them. On September 30, 2015, Rand allegedly issued an unlawful prescription for oxycodone, resulting in the death of 33-year-old Michael Yenick, whose family has filed a wrongful death suit against Rand.
The indictment alleges that on April 28, the day that West was arrested, he possessed in his truck two pistols and a rifle during and in relation to drug trafficking crimes, and in his residence two pistols and a rifle during and in relation to drug trafficking crimes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost two million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses involving opioids killed more than 28,000 people in 2014, more than any year on record, and over one-half of those deaths were from prescription opioids. For information on opioid overdose and how you can manage pain without prescription drugs, go to http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/index.html.
This case is being investigated by the Northern Nevada Unified Drug and Gang Enforcement Task Force, which includes the DEA, FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Enforcement, Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Susanville, California Police Department, Nevada Department of Corrections, Nevada Gaming Control, Nevada Department of Public Safety, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the State of Nevada Division of Welfare, Office of Investigations and Recovery.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Keller.