LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Twenty-two people have been charged in five cases with making millions of dollars by illegally distributing prescription drugs in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, where drug abuse is rampant.
Federal indictments unsealed Friday in Pikeville charged several pain clinic owners and doctors with taking part in the alleged scheme.
The indictments detail alleged schemes by doctors in Texas, and Kentucky and pain clinic owners in Kentucky and Florida to distribute hundreds of thousands of prescription pills in an area ravaged by prescription drug addiction.
A Louisiana pain clinic owner was sentenced earlier this month to 15 years in federal prison for the illegal distribution of prescription pills in eastern Kentucky. Prosecutors in Lexington described that case as the first in which a clinic owner had been prosecuted for the offense.