El Paso doctor sentenced in W.Va. pill mill probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va - A federal judge has sentenced a Texas doctor who operated a pill mill out of a makeshift clinic to more than five years in prison.

The Charleston Gazette reports ( ) U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver compared Fernando Gonzales-Ramos to a "common street drug dealer" when sentencing him to 71 months in prison on Tuesday.

Gonzales-Ramos pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose.

Prosecutors claim he traveled to West Virginia every three months from September 2011 through March 2013, trading prescriptions for controlled substances for $450 to $500. Gonzales-Ramos saw patients in a building in Logan that did not have running water, an exam table or other medical equipment.

Prosecutors say payments were deposited into the physician's personal bank accounts.

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