(STL.News) – A HOPE Clinic manager was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for a gun crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joshua Radcliffe, 36, of Shady Springs, previously pled guilty to conspiring with Mark T. Radcliffe to using and carrying firearms in relation to maintaining drug-involved premises.
“Even though Joshua Radcliffe was not a prescribing physician, today he was held accountable for his role in fueling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “The opiate crisis ravaged our good state and affected every single citizen in one way or another. We are holding everyone accountable for the roles they played.”
From 2010 through 2015, Radcliffe was employed with Patients, Physicians and Pharmacists Fighting Diversion (PPPFD), Inc., the company that managed the daily operations of the HOPE Clinic. Radcliffe admitted that HOPE Clinic was predominately a cash-based business and that the physicians at HOPE Clinic issued prescriptions for oxycodone to its customers not for legitimate medical purposes and outside the bounds of professional medical practice. Radcliffe worked at the Beckley and Beaver locations of the HOPE Clinic as the Clinic Manager. As the Clinic Manager, Radcliffe admitted to running the daily operations of the clinics and that PPPFD management made medical decisions that should have been made by the physicians and not by PPPFD employees. Because the customers coming to both the Beckley and Beaver HOPE Clinic locations were seeking Schedule II controlled substances to feed their addiction or to distribute illegally, Radcliffe admitted that he carried a firearm to work. He and others in management at PPPFD encouraged other PPPFD employees, especially the narcotic auditors and clinic managers, to carry firearms to work for protection because of the customers and the amount of cash coming into the clinics each day.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the West Virginia State Police, the Kentucky State Police, the Beckley Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Charleston Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.