Norton-based doctor arrested on federal drug charges
ABINGDON, Va. — A Norton-based doctor has been arrested on federal drug charges after authorities said he prescribed medication to patients for his own use.
Dr. Raymond Michael Moore, 61, of Wise, has been charged with one count of acquiring, obtaining or possessing Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, one count of failing to maintain records for Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances received, delivered or shipped and one count of making false statements, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Moore intentionally, and without authority, acquired and possessed” various prescription medications, including hydrocodone, oxycodone-acetaminophen, fentanyl transdermal system, meperidine, alprazolam, lorazepam, clonazepam tablets, tramadol and diazepam, the release states.
Authorities said many of the substances were found at Moore’s home.
“The results of the search led investigators to conclude that Moore was unlawfully prescribing Schedule II and Schedule IV medication to patients in order for the same medication to be returned to Moore for personal ingestion,” the release states.
“It is critical that physicians and other health care providers who prescribe controlled substances scrupulously follow the law and standards of care to ensure that these drugs are not diverted and abused,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said. “When these medical professionals violate their Hippocratic oaths — and essentially act as drug dealers — we will use all available resources to send them to federal prison.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, whose office assisted in the investigation, said it’s critical to “maintain tight controls” over the supply of prescription drugs.
Rural Retreat woman accused of threatening judge will undergo mental evaluation
A mental evaluation was ordered Monday for a Rural Retreat, Virginia, woman accused of using her Twitter account to threaten a federal judge in Abingdon.
Sharon Johnson Burton, 54, is being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail in Salem on a two-count federal indictment handed down June 27 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
According to the indictment, Burton posted messages on Twitter on June 14 threatening to assault U.S. District Court Judge James P. Jones, the same judge who found her guilty of federal drug and gun charges in 2008.
At her arraignment on Monday, Burton was given a court-appointed attorney and ordered to undergo an evaluation to see if she’s competent to stand trial. The evaluation will also consider her sanity at the time of the allegations, according to court records.
Appalachian Trail murder suspect found not competent to stand trial
ABINGDON, Va. — Thirty-year-old James Jordan didn’t utter a word Wednesday, when a U.S. District Court judge found him not competent to stand trial in the death of an Appalachian Trail hiker and attack of another.
Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, appeared briefly in Magistrate Judge Pamela Sargent’s courtroom in Abingdon for a competency hearing.
Jordan was arrested in May on charges of murder and assault after two thru-hikers were attacked on the trail near the Wythe and Smyth county line. Authorities believe Jordan fatally attacked Ronald S. Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma, and injured a Canadian woman.
The man has since undergone a competency examination, which was conducted locally and submitted to the court under seal.
“He suffers from a mental disease or defect,” said Sargent, who agreed with the report’s findings that he is not competent to stand trial.
Jordan’s defense attorneys, and prosecutor Zachary Lee, who declined to comment to the Bristol Herald Courier on Wednesday, also agreed to the findings. Neither counsel requested additional evidence.
Sargent ordered that Jordan be transported to a federal facility for mental health treatment to possibly be restored to competency, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Brian McGinn.
The judge said she would like Jordan to be sent to a close facility rather than one that is across the country, noting that some defendants have recently gone to the West Coast for treatment.
McGinn said the court’s findings mean the criminal complaint will remain pending as Jordan undergoes treatment.
Authorities said Jordan stabbed both hikers multiple times after first threatening them while they were resting in their tents at a campsite. Multiple people contacted law enforcement that night to report that Jordan, who went by the trail name “Sovereign,” was terrorizing hikers. Officers eventually located Sanchez’s body, the female hiker and Jordan.
Law enforcement in Bristol and Unicoi County in Tennessee previously encountered Jordan after receiving 911 calls from hikers on the Appalachian Trail and a business owner regarding the man’s behavior.
When he approached the hikers in Southwest Virginia, he was acting disturbed and unstable, playing his guitar and singing, the federal complaint states.
Jordan is currently being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon.
Police arrest 'high-ranking member' of Vice Lords gang in Kingsport
Police have arrested a wanted man in Kingsport who they say is a "high-ranking member" of the Vice Lords gang.
According to a release from the Sullivan County’s Sheriff’s Office, Dustin Keith Overbay, 35 of Mount Carmel, was arrested Friday in Kingsport at a residence on Skyland Drive on outstanding felony warrants from Hawkins and Sullivan counties.
In the release, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office said Overbay was part of the Vice Lords gang and police had unsuccessfully tried to arrest him in the past. The release said he “was considered armed and dangerous and had made threats to shoot officers if they tried to arrest him.”
Detectives with the sheriff’s office confirmed Overbay was at the home on Skyland Drive, which the release said was the residence of 36-year-old Matthew Carpenter and Carpenter’s elderly grandmother. Police say Carpenter had an active warrant for his arrest due to violating probation in Sullivan County.
After obtaining a search warrant, police entered the home. The release said they found Overbay in the living room with a .38-caliber pistol and Carpenter downstairs with a sawed-off shotgun and a Walther semi-automatic pistol, which police say was stolen from Kingsport.
Another man, Brian Belcher, 34 of Kingsport, was also found at the residence and had an active arrest warrant from Virginia.
The release said police found 3 grams of methamphetamine at the house.
SWAT teams with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Kingsport Police Department were involved with the arrests.
The release said “Mr. Carpenter’s grandmother was not involved in the incident in any way.”
Overbay was arrested for the outstanding warrants and faces an additional charge of possession of firearm by a convicted felon, the release said.
Carpenter faces charges maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are sold, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged for introducing contraband into a penal facility after police said “he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine at the Sullivan County Jail.”
Belcher was arrested for his outstanding warrant from Scott County, Va. for a violation of probation for possession of schedule one and schedule two narcotics and police said he is still awaiting extradition.
The investigation is ongoing and police say all three of the men are incarcerated without bond.
Nickelsville woman turns herself in to begin prison sentence
DUFFIELD, Va. — A Southwest Virginia woman who admitted to an elaborate fraud that involved faking a pregnancy to a California couple who wanted to adopt a child in 2018 has began her prison sentence.
Elizabeth Ann Jones, 34, of Nickelsville, turned herself into the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail facility in Duffield on Friday evening.
After pleading guilty Wednesday to eight felony counts of obtaining money or property by false pretense, a probation violation and obstruction of justice, a Scott County judge ordered her to serve a two-year prison sentence.
Jones, who authorities said previously told Matt and Laura Trayte that she was pregnant and they could adopt her child, will complete five years of probation upon release from prison.