Federal Judge Denies Richie West Bail in Prescription Drug Ring - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Federal Judge Denies Richie West Bail in Prescription Drug Ring Case

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Dr. Robert Rand Dr. Robert Rand

A judge has ruled that alleged prescription drug ring suspect, Richie West, to remain in Washoe County Jail. 

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du ruled Thursday night that West poses a threat to the community and is a significant flight risk given the serious nature of the charges that could send him to prison for decades.

She cites the more than 60 firearms seized from his truck and home, including a .9 millimeter caliber pistol with a silencer and a "combat-like rifle."

Du ordered jail officials to consult with West's personal physician to establish appropriate treatment while he remains in jail.

On Thursday, West's attorney argued that he suffers from severe chronic back pain and needs medical attention from his family doctor, rather the one provided to him at the jail. "Since he's been in there, he's now hunched over, he can't hold his head up, he's lost 15 pounds, and quite frankly, he's breaking his teeth from clenching his teeth so much because of the pain," attorney David Houston told Channel 2 News.

Federal prosecutors say Dr. Robert Rand prescribed as many as 800 oxycodone pills to West.

Dr. Rand's bail was denied Thursday afternoon, after Judge Valerie Cooke said he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

He also pleaded not guilty to three charges, where he's accused of being part of a conspiracy to illegally sell oxycodone. "No one's very happy when they're in jail but he's a strong person and we're going to fight this case on his behalf and provide him a defense," says Rand's attorney John Arrascada.

West, Omar Ahmad, Braden Riley, Ryan Smith, Alan Martinez, Kathleen Griffin, Clint Bloodworth and Joshua Green have already pleaded not guilty to charges against them. Their trials are all scheduled to start July 19th. 

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Rand faces three total counts, that could carry a minimum mandatory 20 years in prison on the distribution count resulting in death. West faces a total of 12 counts, that could carry 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.

The indictment states that 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. Then the indictment states that on September 30, 2015, Rand allegedly issued an unlawful prescription for oxycodone, resulting in the death of 33-year-old Michael Yenick.

Everyone but Rand was arrested on April 28th after the DEA and FBI raided the Jones-West Ford dealership and Richie West’s south Reno home in connection with the alleged drug ring. Rand was arrested one day later in San Francisco.

(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)

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