mens doc marten boots Richie West released from jail for time served in ‘pill mill’ case
Richard “Richie” West II was booked April 28, 2016, into the Washoe County jail following federal investigation into an alleged opioid drug ring. He was released from jail on Tuesday for time served.(Photo: Washoe County Sheriff Office)Richard “Richie” West II was released from jail for time served for his role in an illegal prescription drug ring that was operating out of a Reno dealership. Tuesday from the Washoe County jail, according to his defense attorney David Houston. “We feel that it was the best result based upon his true involvement in this matter.
“We are happy we were able to demonstrate at his sentencing that he most certainly was not any sort of major player in a drug crime.”
West previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiring to distribute a controlled substance as part of a plea deal with the federal government. He was sentenced last month to two years in prison.
West essentially admitted to being involved in the drug ring which prosecutors previously described as a “pill mill.”
West and eight others, including Dr. Robert Rand, were all arrested in April 2016. The drug bust stemmed from an anonymous tipster and followed a lengthy investigation by agents with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Prosecutors had evidence that Rand, who was specialized in pain management and ran a family practice, prescribed more pain pills than any other doctor in Northern Nevada. West, who suffered from chronic back pain, said Rand overprescribed him medication which he then sold.
In 2015, Rand prescribed 401,
000 more pills than the second highest prescriber, according to previous court testimony.
“There was a significant difference between Mr. West and Dr. Rand,” Houston said. “It has been our position and remains our position that Mr. West was also a victim of Dr. Rand’s. That’s why he was allowed to give a victim impact statement at his sentencing.
Read more: ‘Monster with a stethoscope’: Reno pill mill doctor Robert Rand gets 10 years in prison
“Anyone who is familiar with the facts of the case will realize that Mr. West was truly a chronic pain patient.”
Attempts at reaching Rand’s defense attorney for comment were unsuccessful on Tuesday.
Rand was sentenced in November to 10 years in federal prison. Meanwhile, West remained at the county jail because he had little time remaining to serve, Houston said.
“It would have been almost impossible to assign him to a federal unit then have him classified then transported,” Houston said. “So, he was allowed to stay at the local jail.”
Houston said West was not speaking to any news organizations.
“He wants to put this behind him and stay healthy and stay dedicated to rebuilding the life that he had the best way that he can,” Houston said, adding he didn’t know if his client plans to return to the dealership.
“It might be a while before he gets his feet on the ground and decides what to do,” he said. “We’re extremely happy he’s been released, and we wish him all the best.”