Doctor, members of Pagans Motorcycle Club guilty in pill mill case

- A doctor accused of running a pill mill along with members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club has been found guilty of more than 100 counts of distribution of controlled substances. Now, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reports Dr. William J. O’Brien III was convicted of dispensing “approximately 378,914 pills which contained 10 mg, 15 mg or 30 mg of oxycodone; and approximately 160,492 methadone pills. The estimated street value of the controlled substances sold by the conspiracy was estimated at approximately $5 million. O’Brien generated for himself an estimated $2 million in cash proceeds from the drug trafficking conspiracy” between March 2012 and January 2015.

He was found guilty of “two counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; one count of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death; 117 counts of distribution of controlled substances, that is, oxycodone, methadone, and amphetamines; money laundering conspiracy; conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud; and making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy proceeding.”

Testimony showed “so-called ‘patients’ were recruited, would pay O’Brien $200 cash, and would receive medically unnecessary prescriptions for controlled substances for resale. With cash-paying ‘patients,’ O’Brien could conceal money from creditors and the United States Bankruptcy Court where he had filed for Chapter 11 protection for his company WJO, Inc., a group of medical practices which he owned. After filling the prescriptions they got from O’Brien, the ‘patients’ would turn the pills over to the co-conspirators who would sell the pills to drug dealers. Certain controlled substances, such as oxycodone (30 mg), were in high demand. One oxycodone 30 mg pill could sell for $25 on the street."

The jury also found someone died because of O’Brien’s distribution.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said, “We are pleased that the jury saw through Dr. O'Brien's clown act at trial and concluded that for the sake of profit he distributed opioid pain killers for no legitimate medical purpose, and that he caused the death of a patient through his illegal prescribing practices.”

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge William Sweeney added, “The defendant’s behavior and the resulting harm inflicted on our communities is nothing short of disgraceful."

O’Brien was acquitted of four counts of distribution of controlled substances.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5. O’Brien faces a prison term of 20 years to life.

All the co-conspirators pleaded guilty. They face substantial prison terms and fines, and are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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