West Virginia has the unfortunate reputation of having a high level of drug use and illegal drug manufacturing. However, West Virginia is not the only state where this is a serious problem. Recently, a man from neighboring Ohio pled guilty in a federal district court in West Virginia to being a “ringleader” for one of the region’s most notorious “pill mill” prescription drug cases.
David Lee Kidd, 43, pled guilty to drug and money-laundering conspiracies. Kidd also had to answer to a contempt charge, after he fled from his home confinement in Ohio to New Jersey in order to avoid being prosecuted. Kidd was later captured in Oklahoma after a police vehicle forced his car off the road to conclude a high-speed pursuit from Arkansas that went on for 40 miles.
Kidd admitted that he and several other defendants made frequent trips to Florida in order to buy oxycodone from various unscrupulous doctors and distribute the drug in small towns throughout Ohio and West Virginia. Often these trips involved “doctor shopping” in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, and Daytona Beach, or looking for pain clinics where Kidd and his associates could buy oxycodone to take back home. “[I]t’s because of people like David Kidd,” claimed United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld, that so many West Virginians suffer from prescription drug abuse. He accused Kidd of “fueling” the problems with drugs in this state.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), working with the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division, found that Kidd’s drug ring was in operation between February 2010 and March 2012. During this time, it distributed more than 100,000 pills estimated to be worth around $3 million. The DEA had also identified at least one doctor that supplied the drug ring with oxycodone — Douglas Broderick, a former gynecologist with pain clinics in Florida and South Carolina. Dr. Broderick allegedly prescribed as many as 240 pills for each patient after just a surface examination.
We at the Wolfe Law Firm understand the danger of drug use and agree that those who sell drugs should be brought to justice. At the same time, our Constitution’s Sixth Amendment guarantees that even West Virginians who seem 100% guilty of committing such a crime are entitled to be represented by a West Virginia criminal defense attorney. The Sixth Amendment’s provisions include that criminal suspects have the right to a speedy trial, the right to an impartial jury, the right to confront the witnesses against them, and especially the right to have the assistance of counsel.
In criminal cases, a criminal suspect can only be convicted if the jury finds that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt — the toughest evidentiary standard to meet. An experienced West Virginia criminal defense attorney may be able to locate enough witnesses and evidence to create doubt as to whether the suspect was really guilty. If the attorney has reason to believe that the suspect’s case is not a strong one, he or she might be able to arrange a plea bargain with the prosecutor for a lighter sentence. If you find yourself accused of a crime, whether of selling drugs or another type of crime, you should not try to fight the charges on your own. Find an experienced attorney who has dealt with your situation and would know how to help you.