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Former Pinnacle employee arraigned

A former employee of an Ironton doctor accused of operating a pill mill on Wednesday answered charges in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Kevin W. Bowers, 44, of 1906 Cold Springs Drive, Lancaster, was arraigned on counts of first-degree engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, first-degree conspiracy to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, third-degree tampering with evidence, fifth-degree practicing osteopathy without a certificate and fifth-degree complicity to practicing osteopathy without a certificate, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Judge Charles Cooper set bond at $100,000 own-recognizance and $15,000 cash or surety. A pretrial was set for Dec. 10.

Bowers, an employee at Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center LLC in Ironton, was indicted in September, along with the center’s physician, Adam P. Hall, following a three-year investigation by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, the county prosecutor’s and sheriff’s offices, Ironton Police Department, bureau of criminal investigations, state pharmacy board, state medical board, drug enforcement agency and the state attorney general’s office into suspected illegal activity at the center.

Bowers, a former physician who lost his license in 2008, allegedly saw patients at the clinic and authorized prescriptions, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, hundreds of prescriptions for various drugs, including oxycodone, morphine, clonazepam, diazepam and endocet were written during the clinic’s operation.

The business was shut down in March 2013 after search warrants were issued to seize patient records and other information. Hall’s medical license was also subsequently suspended.

In other cases:

• Christina Johnson, 37, of 517 Township Road 286, Chesapeake, was sentenced to 11 months in prison for a fifth-degree count of possession of heroin, to which she previously pleaded guilty. Cooper also ordered the woman to pay a $1,250 fine and suspended her driver’s license for one year.

• Derek Childers, 31, of 175 Township Road 1055 Proctorville, was arraigned on two counts of second-degree burglary and four counts of fifth-degree breaking and entering, to which he pleaded not guilty. Cooper set bond at $100,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for Dec. 10.

• Larry Farmer, 64, of 2516 S. Sixth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and misdemeanor counts of DUI, driving under DUI suspension, resisting arrest and reckless operation. Cooper set sentencing for Jan. 7.

• Tiffany Wagoner, 30, of 1204 County Road 70, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree count of DUI. Cooper set sentencing for Dec. 10.

• Shayla Perkins, 23, of 3341 State Route 243, Ironton, pleaded guilty to a second-degree count of burglary. Cooper sentenced the woman to five years in prison and ordered her to pay $800 in restitution.

• Phillmore Kiser, 36, of 74 Chalet Circle, Greenup, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to a second-degree count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs. Sentencing was set for Dec. 10.

• Joseph Barker, 35, of 407 Lane St., Coal Grove, was arraigned on a third-degree count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, to which he pleaded not guilty. Barker also denied probation violations.

Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for Dec. 17.