Mingo Pill Mill Dealer Sentenced

Updated 5 years ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Myra Sue Miller was sentenced   to six months in federal prison for her role in operating a former Mingo  County-based pill mill, U.S.

Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  Miller, 50, of South Williamson, Ky.,  previously pleaded guilty in March to misusing a Drug Enforcement  Administration (DEA) registration number that did not belong to her.  Miller’s sentence was handed down today by  United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in federal court in  Charleston.  

U.S. Attorney Goodwin said, “Every time we put a  pill dealer out of business or shut down a pill mill, it’s a big step toward  getting this problem under control.”         

In February 2010, Miller used the DEA registration   number assigned to former Mingo County doctor William F. Ryckman to illegally  distribute the painkiller hydrocodone, as well as the prescription drug  alprazolam, also known as “Xanax.” Miller was the office manager at Mountain  Medical, formerly located in Williamson, W.Va.   The clinic was Dr. Ryckman’s primary medical practice at the time.  

Dr. Ryckman, 66, was convicted in March 2012 of  conspiracy to misuse a DEA registration number and sentenced to six months in  prison followed by one year of supervised release. 

During the scheme, on February 17, 2010, Miller  faxed several blank “doctor’s lists” from Ryckman’s Williamson office to Dr.  Ryckman, who was residing in Pennsylvania. To further the scheme, Ryckman  signed and faxed the lists and sent them back to Miller at his office in Mingo  County. With Ryckman’s authorization, the lists were improperly used to  prescribe painkillers to people who were not evaluated or seen by a physician.

As the office manager, Miller directed individuals   under her authority to fill in blank doctor’s lists with information that  included patients' names, prescription type, strength, and quantity.  The lists were then faxed to local pharmacies  in order to be filled and dispensed. Miller also admitted that while Dr.  Ryckman was absent from his Williamson office on February 18 and 19, 2010, she  accepted cash fees from individuals who arrived at Mountain Medical.  She later directed individuals to one of at  least two pharmacies located in Mingo County to obtain prescriptions for  hydrocodone and Xanax.

At sentencing, the Court ordered Miller to pay a  $5,000 fine.  Miller was also sentenced  to one year of supervised release.  

Miller agreed to forfeit her interest in the clinic  building and personal assets totaling $475,823.75. 

        This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement  Administration, the West Virginia State Police, the Department of Health and  Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the FBI.  Assistant United States Attorney John Frail  handled the prosecution.

This case was prosecuted as part of an ongoing  effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of  West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription  drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law  enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down  illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the  spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

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