RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
Pill mill owner and operator George Marshall Adkins, of West Portsmouth, was convicted Friday, after pleading guilty to five felony charges.
According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Adkins owned Greater Medical Advance, Inc., in Wheelersburg. Authorities found that he operated the business as a pill mill from June 2009 until December 2011, when officers with several jurisdictions raided and shut down the establishment.
DeWine said Adkins improperly prescribed pharmaceuticals are believed to have contributed to the massive rise in overdoses and overdose deaths in Ohio.
Adkins plead guilty Friday to five felony charges — engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, permitting drug abuse, aggravated trafficking in drugs, and forgery. His guilty plea comes as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors will recommend that the 69-year-old receive 10 years in prison. Scioto County Common Pleas Judge William Marshall will sentence Adkins in October.
“Prescription drug abuse has hurt so many Ohio families, especially in southern Ohio,” DeWine said. “Before we started aggressively fighting this problem, Scioto County had more than a dozen pill mills, but through excellent teamwork between many different agencies we have successfully shut them all down.”
Adkins’ plea represents one of the first convictions on the state level against a non-prescriber for the management and activities connected to a pill mill. Investigators found that Dr. Victor Georgescu, of Centerville, Ohio, illegally prescribed prescription medications. Georgescu was facing similar charges, but died prior to his trial. Two other co-defendants were also charged. Tammy Newman pleaded guilty Conspiracy to Engage in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, and Melissa Veach, charged with drug trafficking, is awaiting trial.
“Anyone found improperly using, selling, or prescribing prescription drugs in Scioto County will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” said Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn. “We will not stand by and let this prescription drug epidemic continue in the Portsmouth area.”
The Scioto County Prosecutors office was assisted by Sr. Assistant Attorney General Aaron Haslam, Associate Assistant Attorney General, Sarah Schenck and Associate Assistant Attorney General, Matthew Donahue of the Special Prosecutions Unit. The lead investigator on the case was Pharmacy Agent Kevin “Joe” Kinneer.
In addition to the agencies mentioned above, additional support in the investigation and prosecution was received from the Portsmouth Police Department, the Ohio State Medical Board, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Lawrence County Major Crimes Task Force, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and RANGE Taskforce, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Watercraft, the DEA, the FBI, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.