A Floyd County man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a drug ring that brought more than 200,000 pain pills into Kentucky to abuse and sell.
Timothy Wayne Hall, 47, was the leader of the conspiracy. He pleaded guilty to operating a criminal enterprise from 2001 until 2007, as well as other drug charges.
The case is an example of a problem that police say has grown in recent years: people traveling to other states to get prescriptions, then bringing the drugs back to Kentucky.
Authorities said that trend has been driven by enforcement in Kentucky and the state's successful program to track drug prescriptions, known by the acronym KASPER. People leave the state to avoid that scrutiny.
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South Florida has been a key destination for drug addicts and traffickers from Kentucky seeking prescriptions, in part because Florida has no system like Kentucky's to monitor prescriptions. (The Florida Legislature did pass a law this year to create a similar program.)
Hall went north, however, admitting he arranged for people to go to a doctor's office in Philadelphia — a 10-hour drive from Eastern Kentucky — to get prescriptions for the painkiller methadone.
Participants in the ring also went to Cincinnati to get prescriptions.
Doctors allegedly provided prescriptions with little scrutiny, according to charges.
A doctor from Philadelphia, Randy Weiss, is among more than 20 people charged with Hall who have pleaded guilty. A doctor from Cincinnati, Lloyd Stanley Naramore, is charged, and a pharmacist from Cincinnati, Thomas Stark, has pleaded guilty.
Members of the drug ring Hall headed also bought OxyContin pills from drug dealers in Michigan and smuggled them to Eastern Kentucky, according to court documents.
In addition to his prison sentence, Hall forfeited a mobile home, three houses, some land and more than $36,000 to the government.