An owner and operator of a West Virginia pharmacy was charged last week following the returning of a one-count indictment by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

Jackson Noel, aka Jackie Noel, operator of Buffalo Drug Inc. in Buffalo, West Virginia, was indicted on one count of knowingly and intentionally dispensing a quantity of pills containing oxycodone. A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Noel. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of $1,000,000.

According to court filings, the indictment is in connection to another federal case in which four Pike Countians; Darryl K. Williams, 54, Lora M. Kicklighter, 43, Michael Robinette, 52,and Michael Bowe, 64; were indicted for collectively bringing in more than 8,000 oxycodone tablets into Pike County and Eastern Kentucky.

According to the indictment, more than $300,000 was seized from a bank account connected to Buffalo Drug Inc. and an additional $45,711.52 was seized from a Poca Valley Bank account in connection to the case.

During her plea hearing previously, Kicklighter acknowledged that she and her alleged co-conspirators, backed financially by Williams, would report to Dr. Joel Smithers of Martinsville, Virginia, who “was known to prescribe a large amount of pills with little to no evaluation” of patients. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Drew Trimble, Williams paid all expenses for the “pill crews” who were receiving the pills from Smithers and, in return, Williams would receive a portion of the pills. Trimble told Atkins that Kicklighter “carried money, prescriptions and pills” while working on Williams’ behalf.

Bowe said during his plea hearing that his role in the ring was, he would visit Dr. Smithers in Martinsville. Smithers was taken into custody by federal agents in August on other charges. 

When Bowe visited. Smithers, he would transport other patients to the “pill mill.” In addition to transporting others, Bowe would fill others’ prescriptions, using their identification, when filling his own prescriptions.

Bowe said during the hearing that, with the prescriptions he had filled, he knew some of the pills went back to Williams and the people for whom he was having the prescriptions filled would often be at Williams’ home and that is where Bowe would take the pills. 

Kicklighter, Bowe and Robinette have each pleaded guilty to a respective charge in their case. They have been scheduled sentencing dates in May in U.S. District Court.

Williams is currently set to go to trial in the case on May 21.

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