Reno Doctor Changes Plea in Alleged Fatal Prescription Drug Ring - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Doctor Changes Plea in Alleged Fatal Prescription Drug Ring

Posted: Updated:

A Nevada doctor pleaded guilty on Monday despite maintaining his innocence since being arrested as part of an alleged fatal painkiller ring in Reno more than a year ago.

Dr. Robert Gene Rand appeared in federal court in Reno and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and distribution of a controlled substance.

The prosecution withdrew the other charges.

Federal prosecutors offered a deal to Dr. Rand last week and he accepted. His trial was supposed to start next week where he faced nine charge, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. His lawyer says he is disappointed with the guilty plea.

"I believe in my client," John Ohlson, Rand's attorney said. "I didn't think a jury of 12 would have convicted him. I just don't think it would've happened."

The Department of Justice says according to admissions made in the plea agreement, Rand prescribed an excessive amount of oxycodone to a patient without a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice that resulted in the patient’s death from oxycodone intoxication. From the start of treatment, in June 2014, Rand prescribed the patient oxycodone. The DOJ says in September 2014, a doctor spoke with Rand about the patient receiving 180 oxycodone pills per month from Rand and the patient’s history. The patient was hospitalized twice. Despite phone calls, records, and encounters, Rand continued to prescribe oxycodone to the patient. The DOJ says in September 2015, Rand prescribed 45 dosages of oxycodone in 30 mg amounts, as well as Xanax, to the patient. One week later, Rand prescribed an additional 180 dosages of oxycodone in 30 mg amounts to the patient. Rand acted with gross negligence in prescribing this oxycodone and did so in reckless regard for the patient’s life.

In court Monday, Dr. Rand admitted that he prescribed Richie West 500 doses of oxycodone each month for more than half-a-year. He also admitted that it was his prescription that lead to the death of Michael Yenick.

"I've spent a lot of time with him," Ohlson said. "I've talked to just about all of his family, scores and scores of his patients who loved him. I've poured over medical records. I've looked at expert reports and I think the guy is a good man and a good doctor. However, now he's pled guilty and he's a felon."

Despite the deal, count two alone could result in a maximum of 20 years in prison. Count 2 comes with a maximum of 8 years in prison. West and the other co-defendants charged in this case have already guilty.

A sentence hearing is scheduled for October 23rd.

Both sides are asking for 60-78 months in prison, up to 87 months if he is eligible for what is known as a safety valve, which entitles him to reduction.  Rand waived his right to appeal the sentence if it is lower than 78 months.

To read our previous coverage on this case, go to http://bit.ly/2qukJP4

(The Department of Justice contributed to this report.)

  • NewsMore>>

  • Highway 267 Reopens after Multiple-Vehicle Crash in Truckee

    Highway 267 Reopens after Multiple-Vehicle Crash in Truckee

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:30 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:30:18 GMT

    The Truckee Police Department says Highway 267 has reopened after a crash involving multiple vehicles closed the road for several hours Sunday.

    More >>

    The Truckee Police Department says Highway 267 has reopened after a crash involving multiple vehicles closed the road for several hours Sunday.

    More >>
  • Aces Snap Losing Streak

    Aces Snap Losing Streak

    Sunday, April 22 2018 9:40 PM EDT2018-04-23 01:40:25 GMT

    Troy Scribner and the Aces were victorious Sunday against the Fresno Grizzlies by a score of 9-4. Scribner went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits to pick up his first win of the season. Offensively, Reno tallied 16 hits, their most in 2018 and hit two home runs. Jack Reinheimer (3-for-3, 2 BB) and Marcus Littlewood (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) finished with three hits to lead the charge. 

    More >>

    Troy Scribner and the Aces were victorious Sunday against the Fresno Grizzlies by a score of 9-4. Scribner went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits to pick up his first win of the season. Offensively, Reno tallied 16 hits, their most in 2018 and hit two home runs. Jack Reinheimer (3-for-3, 2 BB) and Marcus Littlewood (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) finished with three hits to lead the charge. 

    More >>
  • Nevada Softball Gets Swept by Boise State

    Nevada Softball Gets Swept by Boise State

    Sunday, April 22 2018 9:37 PM EDT2018-04-23 01:37:35 GMT

    The Nevada softball team wrapped up its weekend series with Boise State on Sunday with an 8-4 loss to the Broncos as the Wolf Pack now sits at 19-21 on the season and 8-9 in Mountain West play. This marks the first time since the opening weekend of conference games that Nevada has lost a conference series. 

    More >>

    The Nevada softball team wrapped up its weekend series with Boise State on Sunday with an 8-4 loss to the Broncos as the Wolf Pack now sits at 19-21 on the season and 8-9 in Mountain West play. This marks the first time since the opening weekend of conference games that Nevada has lost a conference series. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.