By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candace Smith has ordered Tracy Bias, former operator of several pain clinics in Portsmouth, held without bond pending trial. The ruling was rendered in U.S. District Court, Southern Division, in Cincinnati.
The indictment alleges that the defendants, Bias, 47, of West Portsmouth, Dr. Mark Fantauzzi, and five other doctors, conspired to write prescriptions for powerful pain medications outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, and that their conspiracy resulted in the death of at least one customer. The 12-count indictment alleges that between January 2009 and June 2011, Bias owned and operated Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth, and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus, even though he has no known medical education. He allegedly secured doctors for brief periods, ranging from one day to several years through what are known as locum tenens or temporary service contracts to prescribe pain medication for customers at his clinics.
Smith’s decision to deny bond was based on several criteria, including that there is cause to believe Bias has committed an offense for which there is a possibility of a maximum term of 10 years in prison; that he has not rebutted the presumption established by finding that no condition will reasonably assure the safety of the community; that there is serious risk that the defendant will endanger the safety of another person or the community.
Bias is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett will set a trial date. Bias entered not guilty pleas to the charges against him, through his court-appointed attorney, Ted Froncek.
The six others charged with Bias are Joon H. Chong, 69, John Dalhsten, 55, Marcellus Jajuan Gilreath, 49, Stephen L. Pierce, 62, and James E. Lassiter, 58, who will be arraigned May 11.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.