U.S. Judge Dismisses Charge in Reno Growth Hormone Case

In a case involving some of the biggest names in Nevada's business and political community, a federal judge dismissed one of two charges today against a Reno doctor accused of trafficking illegal human growth hormone to patients.

Doctor James Forsythe still faces a charge accusing him of distributing Bio-Tropin as an unapproved treatment for anti-aging.

He faces up to five years in prison on the remaining count and a $250,000 fine for his alleged sale of the drugs to an undercover agent for the Food and Drug Administration twice in 2004.

But U.S. District Court Senior Judge Howard McKibben in Reno Tuesday dismissed the other charge of introducing the drugs into interstate commerce from Israel without the required approval.

Kevin Mirch, Forsythe's lead lawyer, argues the prosecution of the doctor is politically motivated but has declined to elaborate.

The 69-year-old doctor's wife is former Nevada Republican Party chairwoman Earlene Forsythe. His past patients include ex-Governor
Kenny Guinn and current first lady Dawn Gibbons as well as several
casino executives.

Mirch told the judge this afternoon the defense was ready to rest its case without calling any witnesses. The jury trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)