Two former top executives with Miami-Luken Inc., were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for conspiring to distribute highly addictive opioids in rural Appalachia, a region that suffered one of the biggest blows from the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to Law360. The company’s former President Anthony Rattini and former compliance officer James Barclay face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury, also included Devonna Miller-West, owner of Westside Pharmacy, and Samuel “Randy” Ballengee, owner of Tug Valley Pharmacy, both in West Virginia, on similar charges. The small-town pharmacies ordered millions of opioids from the distributors which led to a crisis of addiction and drug overdose deaths.
Miami-Luken went out of business last month after facing scrutiny from a congressional committee and multiple lawsuits about not alerting federal authorities about receiving unusually large orders of prescription opioids from rural West Virginia towns. In February 2016, Miami-Luken paid $2.5 million to settle charges brought by West Virginia’s attorney general over allegations that it flooded the state with addictive painkillers.
The indictment is the second by the Department of Justice targeting drug distributors over illicit opioid sales. In April, drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc., and two of its former executives were charged with flooding communities with highly addictive opioids in order to increase profits.
Beasley Allen has an Opioid Litigation Team, which includes these lawyers: Rhon Jones, Parker Miller, Ryan Kral, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton and Jeff Price. This team represents the State of Alabama, the State of Georgia, and numerous local governments, as well as other entities in opioid multdistrict litigation (MDL). They also handle individual claims on behalf of victims.