LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) --A former Kentucky pain clinic owner has been arrested for an alleged conspiracy to peddle painkilling medication.
Federal and state authorities said 44-year-old Ernest William Singleton was arrested Monday in Washington County. Singleton is charged with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone and conspiracy to launder money from Oct. 2010 until this month.
“We want to continue to send a signal from Frankfort that if you have a legitimate pain needs and you are seeing a legitimate doctor you have no fear," Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said.
Attorney General Jack Conway's office says Singleton operated pain management clinics in Georgetown and Dry Ridge until closing them after state lawmakers passed legislation last year to curb prescription drug abuse. Singleton moved his Georgetown clinic to Jeffersonville, Ind. in July 2012.
Residents who live near the pain clinic protested it and petitioned lawmakers to shut it down because of the high volume of people coming to the clinic.
"The guy is a predator. We watched it. We watched him prey on his customers, and he treated the neighbors like garbage," resident Derek Spence said.
A date for Singleton to appear in federal court has not yet been set.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
The attorney general's office says no doctors were named in the indictment, but state regulators have taken disciplinary action against five doctors affiliated with the two clinics.