Alleged Prescription Drug Ring Suspect West to Appear in Court - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Alleged Prescription Drug Ring Suspect West to Appear in Court

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Alleged prescription drug ring suspect Richie West is scheduled to appear in court later this week. West is seeking an emergency hearing regarding pretrial release, due to an undisclosed medical episode while housed inside the Washoe County Jail. 

A court document states that on Monday, May 23rd, West was transported to Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center after being found in a "lethargic state." 

West's attorney, David Houston tells Channel 2, "As a consequence he was able to regain consciousness through the efforts of the EMTs and ER physicians and currently as I understand remains in Saint Mary's under observations. There was a dramatic health consequence that we will be speaking about tomorrow (Thursday)."

Last week U.S. District Judge Miranda Du ruled that West posed a threat to the community and was a significant flight risk given the serious nature of the charges that could send him to prison for decades.

In her ruling, she cited 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."

West, Dr. Robert Rand, 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.

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