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Fairmont doctor suspected in connection with overdose deaths

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Fairmont doctor suspected in connection with several drug overdose deaths was arrested Thursday on charges she supplied patients large quantities of painkillers for no medical purpose.

Dr. Edita Milan was arrested Thursday for conspiracy to distribute schedule II, III & IV controlled substances, a felony.

"Her motive for the distribution of the drugs is believed to be financial in nature," according to a statement from United States Attorney William Ihnlenfeld's office.

The Greater Harrison Drug Task Force had been investigating Milan and her practice for several months, ever since Milan's neighbor -- and patient -- was found dead in his home in June. The criminal complaint alleges Milan had prescribed large quantities of painkillers to him prior to his death.

The complaint says Milan misrepresented the cause of death to the county medical examiner and that she conspired to throw away several of his pill bottles to conceal her connection to the death.

Milan continued to prescribe oxycodone and morphine to the man, despite him not coming in to see Milan for three months prior to his death. The release said a patient must visit a doctor's office to get those types of prescriptions filled.

In 2009, Milan was authorized to open a narcotic treatment program and treat up to 30 patients. The investigation also found she was treating more than twice as many patients as allowed. She also is believed to have prescribed pills to non- patients.

A review of State Board of Pharmacy data revealed she had at least 37 patients who have involvement in the illegal diversion of prescription pills.

"As this case demonstrates, federal, state and local law enforcement continue to stand united to tackle the drug problem in North Central West Virginia and throughout the state," Ihlenfeld said. "Together, we are making a positive difference as we aggressively pursue doctors who seek to hide behind a medical license in order to traffic in highly addictive and sometimes deadly substances."

Investigations initially focused on one of Milan's employees, who was selling painkillers in the office parking lot to an undercover police officer. The employee was convicted in federal court and was then replaced at the medical practice by her sister, who had a prior felony drug conviction.

A Harrison County pharmacist provided information to agents that caused the focus of the case to turn to the unusually large number of prescriptions Milan wrote to her employees and their families. Task force officers confirmed the allegations.

Agents searched Milan's Fairmont home and Bridgeport office late last month, as well as the home of Milan's deceased patient and an employee's home. Milan agreed to voluntarily surrender her DEA registration number. She'll no longer be allowed to prescribe controlled substances.

Investigators seized hundreds of patient files from her office. Patients seeking copies of their medical files should make a request in writing to the United States Attorney's Office, P.O. Box 591, Wheeling, WV 26003.

Patients should include their full name, date of birth, address, and phone number when making a request, and they will be contacted to arrange to obtain their records. Patients will need to provide photo identification to receive their records.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Parr is prosecuting the case. The Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, which is comprised of officers and agents from the Bridgeport Police Department, Clarksburg Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and State Police, along with support from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service, investigated the case.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at Candace.Nelson@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/Candace07

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