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Doctor arrested on drug charges

An Ironton doctor was one of two people arrested Friday on federal drug charges.

Authorities say they are still looking for a third person and will charge him as well.

Dr. Randall L. McCollister, 52, of 111 Cove St., South Point, and Lawrence D. Jenkins Sr., 40, of 602 Buckhorn St., Ironton, were arrested at their homes by Randall Burnham, special agent for the FBI. Officials from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, Ironton Police Department, Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office assisted in the investigation.

Authorities are still looking for Donald Sherman, 40, also of Ironton.

All three men were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday and are charged with conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances. They could receive up to life in prison and a $1 million fine, if convicted.

Tracey Heinlein, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati office of the FBI, said McCollister allegedly "wrote prescriptions for Oxycontin to Jenkins and Sherman, often using the names of former or current patients who owed his office money and used the names of deceased or non-existent patients."

Jenkins and Sherman would then allegedly "take those prescriptions, have them filled and give the pills to other people," Heinlein said.

Jenkins is accused of using Medicaid cards to pay for the prescriptions, Heinlein said. He used these medical cards without the permission of the card holders.

"The arrests are the result of an investigation that has continued for more than a year," said Ironton Police Detective Capt. Chris Bowman. "I feel relieved. It's been a lengthy investigation and this is by no means the end of it. They still have their day in court."

McCollister and Jenkins were immediately taken to Cincinnati to appear before U.S. Magistrate Jack Sherman Jr.

Six other people have been arrested and have plead guilty in federal court in connection with this investigation.

They are James R. Gannon, 40, of 1806 State Route 243, Ironton; Ralph M. Gannon, 42, of 1806 State Route 243, Ironton; Joyce McGlone, 48, of 2556 S. Fourth St., Ironton; Vernon J. Hicks, 62, of 2223 S. Sixth St., Ironton; William Eastham, 28, of 718 Buckhorn St., Ironton;

and Robin Fout, 39, of 719 Depot Square, Ironton.

Additionally, three other people have been charged and have pleaded guilty in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court in connection with the case.

They are Eric Lewis, 38, of 1539 Porter Gap Road; Randy Bailey, 42, of 1720 Campbell Drive, Ironton; and Michael Rosebrough, 47, of 307 S. Second St., Ironton.

Bowman said he does not expect any other arrests in connection with the case.

Oxycontin is widely prescribed for people with chronic pain, but abusers of the painkiller can get a heroin-like high by snorting the medicine or injecting it.

Bowman said the pills come in 20-, 40- or 80-milligram units and have a street value of $1 per milligram. This means a single 80-milligram pill could be resold to an addict for $80.

An indictment is only an accusation of wrongdoing and is not a judgement of innocence or guilt. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune