Drug and alcohol counselors — like other medical and mental health professionals of their ilk — are held to a certain standard of behavior. For instance, they shouldn't scam Medicaid, because that's bad. And they probably shouldn't get caught abusing the substances they help people kick, because that's hypocritical. If they're driving, it's also illegal.
WSBTV originally reported that on Saturday, an Alpharetta-based drug and alcohol counselor was released from jail after he was arrested for DUI. According to police, Ron Verlander of the National Organization for Addiction Healing — a faith-based, non-profit addiction ministry — was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the road and allegedly caught with an open container in his vehicle.
And down in Jeff Davis County, substance abuse counselor Robert W. DeHaven of DeHaven Healthcare, Inc. pled guilty last Friday to committing Medicaid fraud from from December, 2005 to April, 2010. Prosecutors say his company systematically collected reimbursements for services it didn't render. He'll serve two years in prison and will pay restitution to the tune of $270,000.
In their complaint, the SCHR requested that the Georgia Composite Medical Board revoke Dr. Carlo Anthony Musso's license.
A press release explains:
The law, both federal and state, is clear: no person or organization may import or distribute a controlled substance without first registering with both the Georgia Board of Pharmacy and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the Attorney General. The complaint filed today presents evidence that Carlo Anthony Musso, M.D., owner and operator of the Georgia-based companies CorrectHealth and Rainbow Medical Associates, had no such licenses when he imported sodium thiopental into the United States and distributed it to the departments of corrections in Kentucky and Tennessee. In doing so, Dr. Musso violated a host of state and federal criminal laws including, for example, both the state and federal Controlled Substances Acts.
Musso apparently got the sodium thiopental from Dream Pharma, the same sketchy UK supplier from which the the Georgia Department of Corrections obtained its supply of the drug. The state's stash was confiscated by the DEA in April precisely because it was obtained without the proper registration.
Musso's company CorrectHealth has the following mission (as stated on its website):
Since the summer of 2000, my colleagues and I have been working hard to establish CorrectHealth as a multi-disciplinary medical organization that provides high quality, cost-effective and comprehensive health care inside the walls of correctional facilities. And we want to do so better than anyone else. We want to be the leader in the industry of healthcare services for correctional facilities.
For "going after the doctors who assist in the procedure," Peach Pundit likened the SCHR's actions to those typical of rabid pro-lifers. You can read the full complaint here.
Hat tip to commenter "Keep This Thread Alive" for pointing out this piece from "This American Life" about the drug court run by Judge Amanda Williams in Glynn County. (You can listen to the program or read a transcript if you prefer.)
The segment covers how Williams runs quite a tight ship at her drug court and spotlights the stories of a few offenders who have had varying degrees of positive and negative experiences with it.
One young woman served a stint in isolation that caused her to almost end her life. Another was incarcerated for something that probably wouldn't earn her incarceration in other courts, at a cost of $17,000 to taxpayers.
However, a notable tidbit comes near the end of the program, on page 16 of the transcript:
In his inaugural address this January, Georgia's new governor, Nathan Deal, made a big point of calling for more drug courts as a way to reduce the number of people behind bars and save money. His son, Judge Jason Deal, runs the drug court in Hall County.
Turns out the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has a bit of a problem with this discovery, too.
An attorney representing a Cobb County death row inmate wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder a letter alerting him to this issue, claiming that Georgia skirted federal law in an attempt to quickly secure the lethal injection drugs (which, as reported in January, are no longer being produced domestically). In response, the DEA seized Georgia's supply of the drugs yesterday.
It gets deeper: allegedly, the state Department of Corrections is not federally authorized to import drugs and failed to notify the DEA when it imported them last year.
Other states are experiencing this same issue with thiopental, due to a widespread refusal of many companies to provide it if it is going to be used in an execution.
Georgia has no executions scheduled at the moment and will not schedule any more until this issue is resolved.
The squirrels and birds near an Old Fairburn Road home are surely mellow right now. Via WSB-TV:
Firefighters called to a home in south Fulton County on Monday morning said they discovered what may be a major drug operation. [...]
"During the search, we did locate what appeared to be several marijuana plants growing in the basement of this home," said Fire Battalion Chief Markus Jones.
Jones told Moore they found about 50 plants inside the residence, including some that were up to 5 feet tall.
"They had several plants with hydro lighting there, as well as all of the makings to make plants grow real well," said Jones.
Hydro lighting, y'all. CBS Atlanta reports that firefighters actually discovered more than 400 plants inside the residence, which police tell the station was using stolen power from a nearby utility pole.
Now the Lafayette Republican is targeting another suburban teenager's faux-drug du jour — "narcotic bath salts," a cheap and legal alternative to cocaine and methamphetamine which Neal says can lead to hallucinations, paranoia, and even cause death. So says Neal via a press release:
“Narcotic Bath Salts create a growing concern within the state of Georgia. I have had several conversations with parents who have personally experienced their teenager citing the legality of this drug as justification for using it,” said Representative Neal. “These are dangerous substances and we must act quickly to remove them from the shelves of the corner convenience store.”
HB 199 would specifically ban five chemicals in the state of Georgia: Methyenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone), Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), Methoxymethcathinone, and Fluoromethcathinone. These chemicals all belong to the chemical family of cathinones, a group of drugs related to amphetamine compounds like ecstasy. Commonly manufactured in China and India, the chemicals targeted by HB 199 are currently sold online and in stores throughout the state as plant fertilizer, insect repellant, and fake “bath salts.” Common brand names of the drug are Ivory Wave, White China, Infinity, Cloud-9, White Dove, and Ocean. These can be purchased for as little as $20 a pack.
So can cigarette cartons. It'll be interesting if manufacturers try to defend the listed chemicals, however. God knows what other profitable products use those tongue twisters.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says it uncovered some "disturbing" facts and allegations in an investigation into Federal Judge Jack T. Camp — and defendants sentenced by Camp might have a chance to go back before a judge because of it.
If you recall, Camp pleaded guilty two weeks ago in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property. He was busted by the Feds in early October for buying cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone to share with his girlfriend, Goldrush stripper Sherry Ann Ramos, and gifting her a government-owned laptop computer. Unbeknownst to Camp, Ramos was working as an informant for the FBI.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates — concerned that Camp might have performed his judicial duties poorly during the period when he was taking drugs and seeing Ramos (May-October, 2010) — launched an investigation, and found evidence of potential bias in several cases Camp sentenced.
The details are pretty insane.
A witness, referred to as Witness 1 in the U.S. Attorney's press release, told investigators that Camp had made clear to her on several occasions that he didn't like an acquaintance of hers, an African American male (referred to here as Individual A). The release continues:
Camp told [Witness 1] that when African American men appeared before him, he had a difficult time adjudicating their cases and specifically determining their sentences because he could not differentiate them from Individual A in light of his feelings about Individual A.
Witness 1 also told investigators that Camp might have meted out too harsh a sentence to a defendant because of his feelings about Individual A:
Witness 1 also said that Camp told her about a particular case in his court involving an African-American male and white female co-defendant in which Camp had sentenced the male defendant to 30 to 40 years because the African-American male had a personal relationship with the white female co-defendant, and it reminded him of the relationship between Witness 1 and Individual A.
Other allegations include Camp's possible leniency to a female defendant who reminded him of Witness 1, and the use of racial epithets in the presence of a Witness 2.
The press release concludes by saying that the U.S. Attorney's Office "will not object to a defendant's request for a resentencing in any case in which the defendant was sentenced during this time [May-October]" and will evaluate any case a defendant requests be reviewed for possible bias or impairment.
Officials say yesterday's find is possibly one of the largest meth confiscations in U.S. history. Meth manufacturers say they haven't felt this depressed since the General Assembly required pharmacies to stock pseudoephedrine behind the counter.
According to police, the home on Newbury Road was empty and appeared to be used solely to manufacture the drug. Jose Galvez-Vela of Weslaco, Texas, was arrested and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. Police say they're following up on other leads to determine who's responsible for the drug's production in the home.
After the jump, photos from the seizure.
And now we're having to share that gift with the rest of the country.
The Smoking Gun has posted a photo gallery of the aforementioned stripper, who's been ID'd as one Sherry Ann Ramos — who, I must say, does not look like the kind of woman who'd make a married federal judge jump the rails. Her mugshot looks like it belongs in a PSA about the perils of meth. She doesn't look quite as, um, used up in all of the photos posted on TSG, but she's no Helen of Troy.
Also, this was, shockingly enough, not the girl's first brush with the law. According to TSG:
Ramos was originally indicted in January 2005 on a narcotics distribution charge, but later cut a plea deal to a lesser count of using a phone to arrange the sale of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. In describing the unnamed stripper/informant used in the Camp probe, FBI agents noted that the snitch's rap sheet included a “federal felony conviction for use of a telephone in connection with a drug trafficking crime.”
Yes, the judge seemed to have picked himself a keeper, alright.
The last of, oh, about 150 suspects to be arrested in the sprawling, multi-state investigation into the Black Mafia Family pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court.
Vernon Coleman — who goes by "Wu," because of his love of Wu-Tang Clan — 'fessed up to one count of conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine. He faces a minimum 10 years in prison and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in December.
Coleman, who was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, ran the Atlanta-based label Life Records, as well as a party promotions firm, Wu Productions. His attorney, Chris Adams, says Coleman threw parties for the likes of NBA star Allen Iverson.
As for how Coleman hooked up with BMF, one of the nation's largest cocaine enterprises and a once-powerful force in the hip-hop industry, Adams says his client helped facilitate cocaine deals between BMF and cocaine distributors in Coleman's native Birmingham, Ala.
Coleman was one of 16 BMF associates indicted in federal court in Atlanta in 2007. It took authorities two years to catch up with him. U.S. Marshals apprehended him in July 2009, after taking a battering ram to the front door of the Sandy Springs apartment where he was staying.
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