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Plea is made in pill case

Sentencing not yet set

A co-defendant in a case involving the former Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Clinic in Ironton appeared in Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper’s courtroom Tuesday morning to change his plea.

Kevin M. Bowers, 45, of 1906 Coldspring Drive, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to one fourth-degree felony count of pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy and one count of practicing osteopathy without a certificate, a felony of the fifth-degree.

Originally, Bowers 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 complicity to practicing osteopathy without a certificate and fifth-degree practicing osteopathy without a certificate, to which he pleaded not guilty in November of last year. However, all but the fifth-degree practicing osteopathy without a certificate were amended to the fourth-degree count of pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy in a plea bargain.

The other co-defendant, former clinic physician Adam P. Hall, 41, of 2673 Sawmill Green Road, Powell, previously pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment that includes five second-degree and three third-degree felony counts of trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony count of forgery, fourth and fifth-degree felony counts of illegal processing of drug documents and a fifth-degree felony count of permitting drug abuse in September of 2014 following his medical license being suspended. Hall’s case remains ongoing.

Pinnacle Clinic was shut down in March of 2013 following a morning raid. That was the result of a three-year investigation by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, the Lawrence County prosecutor’s and sheriff’s offices, the Ironton Police Department, bureau of criminal investigations, state pharmacy board, state medical board, state drug enforcement agency and the state attorney general’s office for what they believed to be illegal activity at the clinic.

Bowers, a former physician, worked at the clinic even though his medical license was previously revoked and allegedly saw patients at the clinic as well as gave authorized prescriptions. Prescriptions for drugs such as oxycodone, morphine, clonazepam, diazepam and endocet were written from the clinic during its operation, according to the indictment.

Bowers’ sentencing has not yet been set.

In other cases:

• Kelcie Williams, 20, of 405 Laurel Ave., Ashland, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. Judge D. Scott Bowling ordered her to receive treatment in lieu of a conviction.

• Marce Cremeans III, 46, of 877 Township Road 269, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree felony count of failure to appear and a fifth-degree felony count of breaking and entering. Bowling sentenced him to STAR beginning in February with 22 months reserved, 11 for each count. He was also ordered to pay $3,545 restitution to victim Wendall Freeman. Cremeans will remain in jail until his STAR date.

• Damien Fox, 30, of 127 Township Road 1021, South Point, pleaded guilty to probation violations and theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. Bowling sentenced him to six months in prison and 180 days in jail, which will run concurrently.

• Charles Johnson II, 24, of 56 County Road 57, South Point, was nolled due to lack of evidence.

• William Hall Jr., 33, of 1824 Shopes Creek, Ashland, pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony count of unlawful sexual contact to a minor. Cooper sentenced him to four years in prison and gave him the status of a “Tier 2” sex offender, requiring him to check in for the next 25 years.

• Tabitha Horsley, 27, 109 Pinecrest Drive, Ashland, Kentucky, admitted to community-controlled sanctions violations. Cooper sentenced her to nine months in prison.

• Jerry McDonald, 45, of 13 Township Road 1391, Chesapeake, admitted community-controlled sanctions violations. Cooper sentenced him to 11 months in prison with credit for time served from Dec. 15, 2015.

• Joseph V. Stewart, 35, of 119 Ashland Drive, South Point, admitted community-controlled sanctions violations. Cooper sentenced him to 30 days in jail with credit for time served since Dec. 8, 2015, allowing Stewart to be released from custody. Due to the violations, however, his community-controlled sanctions were extended by one year.

• Timmie Fortner, 49, of 144 Township Road 615, South Point, pleaded guilty to one third-degree and two fourth-degree felony counts of trafficking in drugs. Cooper sentenced him to three years in prison and 17 months, which will run concurrently. Fortner was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and received a three-year license suspension.

• Briana Bond, 21, of 605 S. Eighth St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony count of illegal conveyance of drug of abuse on grounds of a specified governmental facility. Sentencing was set for Jan. 20.