Four Chattanooga area pain management clinic owner/operators have been indicted on federal charges that they conspired to "illegally distribute and dispense" painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine, methadone and others.
Faith Blake, 40, of Houston, Texas; Barbara Lang, 58, of Rossville, Ga., Chuck Larmore, 64, of Chattanooga, and Dr. Jerome Arnold Sherard, 58, of Hixson all face charges in a 66-count federal indictment released today.
According to court documents, Blake and Lang owned and operated Superior One Medical Clinic in Chattanooga from December 2010 until July 2011. Blake also operated Elite Care Pain Clinic in Chattanooga from August to November 2011. Lang and Larmore operated Primary Care and Pain Clinic in Chattanooga from August 2011 until present.
Sherard operated multiple clinics under his name and Skyview Medical Center of Chattanooga from at least September 2009 until June 2012.
Investigators arrested Blake in Houston on Sept. 7. She entered a not guilty plea to a federal magistrate.
Lang, Larmore and Sherard were arrested and made a Sept. 7 court appearance here. All pleaded not guilty.
Each of those charged face up to 20 years and fines up to $1 million each for the charges they face, if convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release.
Twenty-three other defendants were charged with drug trafficking and money laundering offenses in Roane County who investigators say used these clinics to procure drugs.
Eighteen of the 23 have pleaded guilty or signed plea agreements.
"Prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem in our district and country. We will continue to aggressively indict and prosecute those cases," said U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.
For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.