Feds charge Richard West II, others with distributing prescription drugs illegally
UPDATE: 5/2, 12:53 p.m.
A federal magistrate judge has ruled that Dr. Robert Rand be temporarily detained in San Francisco, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Rand made his initial court appearance on Monday, May 2, in San Francisco.
His detention is pending a separate detention hearing on Friday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney for the district of Nevada.
The Reno doctor is accused of distributing oxycodone and other drugs illegally as part of a criminal conspiracy with a number of other people living in the Reno area.
Rand has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise with at least five other people, and distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death.
Eight co-defendants in the case appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Reno on Friday, April 29. Richard Winston West II was the only defendant among them to be detained.
UPDATE: 4/29, 5:36 p.m.
Seven of the eight defendants who appeared in federal court in downtown Reno on Friday are eligible for bond. A judge decided to detain Richard Winston West II until his next hearing.
Prosecutors said authorities found three firearms along with pills when they searched West's car, and that fentanyl and hydrocodone were discovered in his home.
West's attorney, David Houston, said his defendant has been "overcharged."
West's wife and mother were in the courtroom as well. Houston said he had a letter written by the defendant's mother and father, who stated they would house him.
The judge said West posed a "significant risk" of non-appearance and decided to keep him in custody. His next hearing is scheduled for May 11.
UPDATE: 4/29, 5 p.m.
Eight of the nine defendants charged in an illegal prescription drug distribution case went before a federal magistrate in downtown Reno on Friday.
One of the defendants in federal court included Richard Winston West II. His attorney, David Houston, said they would be willing to submit to GPS monitoring.
In the end, the judge said West II posed a flight risk and decided to detain him until his next hearing, which is set for May 11.
UPDATE: 4/29, 10:49 a.m.
Richard Winston West II, a Reno doctor and seven others have been charged in an illegal prescription drug distribution case, the office of the U.S. Attorney has announced.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the district of Nevada, the nine suspects were charged with taking part in a conspiracy to distribute addictive drugs like oxycodone.
"Our U.S. Attorney's Office is working aggressively with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to attack the growing problem of prescription drug abuse," U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said in a statement. "We have prioritized unlawful prescription drug distribution cases, and plan to shut down dangerous 'pill mill' operations that are contributing to what amounts to, in many instances, a deadly problem."
Robert Gene Rand, 53, Richard Winston West II, 38, Omar Ahsan Ahmad, 31, Joshua Ross Green, 34, Clint Mitchell Bloodworth, 40, Kathleen Griffin, 43, Alan Russel Martinez, 59, and Braden Kyle Riley, 40, all of Reno, and Ryan Daniel Smith, 40, of Carson City, are each charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, such as oxycodone and illegal use of a communication facility, the U.S. Attorney said.
Rand and West have been charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise with at least five other people, in which Rand and West occupied positions of management, according to the U.S. Attorney.
Rand is also charged with distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death, and West is also charged with three separate counts of distribution of oxycodone, the statement reads.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities allege Rand prescribed narcotics like oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of his professional practice.
Beginning on about Sept. 30, 2015, and continuing to about April 28, 2016, Rand allegedly issued prescriptions for substantial amounts of oxycodone to the other suspects, who filled the prescriptions at local pharmacies and then illicitly distributed them.
Rand also issued an unlawful prescription on Sept. 30 for oxycodone, resulting in the death of an individual, according to the statement.
Rand was arrested in San Francisco on Friday, according to the statement, while the eight others were arrested in Reno on Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney's office identified Rand as a Nevada-licensed physician who operates Rand Family Care in Reno, West as the manager of the Jones-West Ford dealership, Ahmad, Griffin, Martinez, Bloodworth, and Riley as employees of the dealership, and Green and Smith as former employees of the dealership.
In addition to the arrests, the U.S. Attorney's office said agents executed federal search warrants at six locations, including two homes, two offices, and two cars connected to the defendants, and seized evidence related to the unlawful distribution of controlled substances, such as oxycodone.
NOTE: The age of Richie West has been corrected.
UPDATE: 4/28, 7:46 p.m.
The website for the Washoe County Jail lists Richard Winston West II as having been booked on Thursday, April 28.
No charges have been listed on the site, and no bail has been set at this time.
UPDATE: 4/28, 5:26 p.m.
Federal agents and local law officers converged on the Jones-West auto dealership on Thursday. The U.S. Attorney's Office confirms they were executing search warrants as well as arrest warrants.
Natalie Collins, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, told News 4-Fox 11 this all stems from a federal investigation. She gave no other details.
Collins also revealed search warrants and arrest warrants were being executed at more than one location. That turned out to be the home of Richard West Jr. His home is located in the Saddlehorn subdivision on Via Contento Court in south Reno.
We know at least two federal agencies include the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were involved. Local jurisdictions include the Washoe County Sheriff's Office and the Reno Police Department.
One of our reporters, Ryan Kern, said an employee told him that employee saw Richard West Jr. being led away in handcuffs.
The West family is well known in the community, and there is a lot of talk in the community about this.
The spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office says all the federal documents were sealed, and she hoped to release more information on Thursday.
News 4-Fox 11 has a number of calls out to other sources. We have also reached out to the West family and relatives of the family. Our calls have not been returned.
Federal and local law enforcement agents and officers executed search and arrest warrants at multiple locations in Reno, including the Jones-West auto dealership, in connection with a federal investigation, according to an official.
The FBI and Washoe County sheriff's deputies are also searching a home on Via Contento Court in south Reno. Public records indicated the home searched is owned by Richard West II.
The dealership has reopened after being closed for an unknown amount of time earlier this morning.
All documents are sealed at this time, and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the district of Nevada said in an email authorities would release information soon.
Requests for further comment were not immediately returned.
Members of other agencies on scene, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Washoe County Sheriff's Office, referred requests for comment to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Authorities from the DEA, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Reno Police, and REMSA were reportedly on scene of Jones West Ford for several hours as of 11:30 a.m.
We're working to learn more and have a crew on scene.