WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- "Another pill mill out of business," read the memo line on a giant check presented to the State Police outside the former Williamson Mountain Medical Care Clinic.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin presented the check, written out for $341,937.61, during a Monday news conference in Williamson. The check represented the end of an investigation into what Goodwin described as a major pill mill.
Myra Miller, who was sentenced in September to six months in prison, was a former office manager at the clinic.
Miller, 50, of South Williamson, pleaded guilty in March to misusing a former Mingo County doctor's Drug Enforcement Administration registration number to distribute hydrocodone and Xanax to people who didn't need the drugs in exchange for cash.
"People were lined up down the street to get their fix," Goodwin said. "There was drug dealing going on down the street. It's made an enormous difference in this area and the region."
State Police Col. Jay Smithers said in the clinic's heyday, there were so many people lined down the street it was like "standing in line to pick up tickets for your favorite musician."
As part of her plea agreement, Miller agreed to forfeit cash and her interests in two 45,000-square-foot buildings on West Third Avenue in Williamson. The assets were given to State Police.
The money would be used to purchase equipment, with most going toward vehicles, Smithers said.
The U.S. Marshals Service will likely auction the buildings because authorities have no interest in them, he said.
The door to the former clinic was locked Monday. Closure notices and forfeiture papers were posted on the glass. Similar notices were posted on the door of Dirt Cheap, a former thrift store, located adjacent to the clinic.
In the clinic portion, a little blue license plate with Miller's name hung on the wall of her trashed office.
An investigator said during the investigation, 18 to 20 containers of dirty needles that were lying on the floor were carted out.
The pill mill was shut down in 2010 following the federal investigation.
When the clinic was in operation, Miller worked for former Mingo County doctor William Ryckman.
According to Miller's plea agreement, Miller would fax several blank "doctor lists" to Ryckman at his Pennsylvania home. Ryckman, 66, then would sign these lists and fax them back to her even though he had not seen the patient.
Patients would pay cash and Miller directed them to at least two pharmacies in Mingo County where they received the controlled substances.
Ryckman was sentenced to six months in prison followed by a year of supervised release for his role.
Goodwin's office said the court entered the final forfeiture order Oct. 23, closing out cases related to the pill mill.
In that order, Miller forfeited $475,823.75 in cash and the buildings, which are worth $610,000.
Goodwin said the government has seized $1.5 million in assets held by former employees, clinic bank accounts and commercial property related to the Williamson clinic.
Goodwin said although the shutdown was a victory, law enforcement still is working to control the state's drug problem.
"There are maybe pockets, much smaller operations. I don't think we are seeing anything like it," he said, later adding, "We are still battling this every day from places like Detroit and Columbus."