UPDATE: Monongalia County surgeon pleads guilty following illegal prescription opioid takedown

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – UPDATE (5/21/19 3:56 p.m.):

An orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Morgantown and Fairmont has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge.

Dr. Chad Poage, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Poage admitted to obtaining controlled substances by fraudulently writing prescriptions using colleagues’ DEA numbers and using stolen drivers’ licenses to pick up fraudulently-prescribed controlled substances from pharmacies in the Morgantown area for his personal use, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As part of Poage’s guilty plea, he also admitted that, from November 2015 to March 2018, he wrote 30 fraudulent prescriptions for approximately 1,330 50-milligram tablets of Tramadol; 420 5-milligram tablets of Diazepam; and 50 30-milligram tablets of acetaminophen-codeine no. 3, all for his own use, officials said.  Poage further admitted that on each of the 30 prescriptions, he either wrote colleagues’ DEA registration numbers without their authorization or wrote the prescription out to a patient knowing that he would pick up the prescription for himself, the news release said.

Poage will be sentenced at a later date.

ORIGINAL STORY (April 17, 2019 4:04 p.m.):

A Monongalia County surgeon is facing a federal drug charge following a coordinated crackdown on illegal prescription opioids.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force conducted a major takedown that resulted in 60 people across seven states being charged. Those charged included 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals.

A Monongalia County surgeon, Dr. Chad Poage, 35, of Morgantown has been charged with one count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Poage is accused of writing prescriptions using other physicians’ DEA registration numbers and initials without authorization, and filling those prescriptions at Morgantown-area pharmacies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that Poage is also accused of filling the prescriptions of acetaminophen-codeine for his own personal use.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Poage is facing up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Wagner and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Patrick Mott are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the West Virginia State Police investigated this case. 

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