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Drug company, 4 people indicted in U.S. painkiller probe

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal authorities said Thursday an Ohio-based wholesale drug distributor that’s been linked before to the opioid drug crisis has been charged in a painkiller pill distribution conspiracy case.

In addition, two former executives of Miami-Luken — the president and compliance officer — and two pharmacists were indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman.

By late morning Thursday, three of the four suspects had been arrested, charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances. The pharmacists worked in West Virginia pharmacies in the towns of Oceana and Tug Valley.

There was no answer Thursday at the number listed for Miami-Luken in Springboro, a suburban city some 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Dayton. The Dayton Daily News reported earlier this year that the company was in the process of dissolving amid mounting legal problems

Richard Blake, an attorney who has previously represented the company, said Thursday he was unaware of the charges.

Prescription opioid statistics made public this week underscored how pill distribution soared as the nation’s overdose epidemic grew.

Miami-Luken distributed 120 million pills from 2006 through 2012, according to newly public federal data published by The Washington Post.