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Nevada doctor, nurse indicted for unlawfully prescribing opioids

FILE: Judge's gavel
Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 28, 2019

NEVADA (KTNV) — A doctor and nurse were charged in a 15 count indictment alleging they conspired to prescribe opioids not in a regular professional manner.

United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Neill of the DEA made this announcement on Wednesday.

Dr. Gary Ridenour, 71, of Fallon, and Derek Braddix, 36, of Sparks, were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premise.

Dr. Ridenour was also charged with six counts of distribution of substances such as hydrocodone, Tylenol with codeine, and alprazolam. Braddix was charged with four counts of distribution of hydrocodone and three counts of distribution of alprazolam.

Dr. Ridenour will be detained until Sept. 4 when his detention hearing will continue. Braddix is on conditions of pretrial release.

From 2016 to February 2019, Dr. Ridenour and Braddix conspired to prescribe and did prescribe hydrocodone, Tylenol with codeine, alprazolam, and carisoprodol, all without a legitimate medical purpose, according to the indictment.

Furthermore, they maintained a medical practice along Reno Highway in Fallon, Nevada, when they unlawfully prescribed these substances.

In a separate indictment, Dr. Ridenour was also charged for unlawful possession of a .22 caliber rifle, a .17 caliber rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, and a 7.62 caliber rifle after having a prior felony conviction in Nevada.

An indictment is an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, according to the Department of Justice.

The DEA investigated the unlawful opioid distribution conspiracy case, and the FBI investigated the unlawful possession of firearms case.

Assistant United States Attorney James Keller is prosecuting these cases.

If anyone has a tip about illegal sales or distribution of prescription opioids by doctors and pharmacies they were urged to contact the DEA at 1-877-RX-Abuse.