Dr. Rand, Eight Others Indicted on Federal Prescription Drug Dis - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Dr. Rand, Eight Others Indicted on Federal Prescription Drug Distribution Charges

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The federal grand jury in Reno Wednesday indicted Dr. Robert Rand, Richie West and seven others on felony drug conspiracy and other charges, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. Following the indictment Wednesday afternoon, Richie West and four others faced arraignment where Richie West pleaded not guilty to all counts against him. 

The indictment replaces the prior criminal complaint, and is required in order 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, 40, 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.  

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 of 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 an individual.  

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.  

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

On Wednesday, May 11th, Richie West, Omar Ahmad, Joshua Green, and Clint Bloodworth had an arraignment and possible plea hearings. Channel 2 News has a reporter in the courtroom who tells us that so far, Green and West have pleaded not guilty. 

On Friday, May 13th, Kathleen Griffin, Ryan Smith, Alan Martinez, and Braden Riley are scheduled for their arraignments and possible plea hearings. 

Robert Rand does not yet have a future court date set. 

(The Department of Justice contributed to this report.)

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