BREAKING: Man Charged With 109 Crimes… LOOK WHAT HE DID!

Johnstown Pharmacist Charged in 109-Count Indictment with Illegally Creating Bogus Prescriptions and then Dispensing the Drugs

PITTSBURGH, PA – A Johnstown, Pa. pharmacist has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of dispensing and distributing controlled substances and conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The 109-count indictment, returned on Oct. 30, named Joseph M. Martella, 53, of Johnstown, Pa.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Martella owned and operated Martella’s Pharmacy located on Franklin Street in Johnstown. The indictment alleges that Martella, a pharmacist, conspired with Dr. Peter James Ridella, who previously pleaded guilty, and with an individual known as “J.R.”, to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for oxycodone; oxycodone and acetaminophen, also known as Percocet; oxymorphone, also known as Opana; morphine sulfate, also known as MS Contin and hydrocodone and acetaminophen, also known as Vicodin, and then unlawfully dispensed those controlled substances to other persons.

The law provides for a maximum per count sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

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Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The investigation leading to the filing of charges in this case was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which combines personnel and resources from the following agencies to combat the growing prescription opioid epidemic: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

SOURCE- THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)

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U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

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