The doctor charged with killing babies at an abortion clinic in Philadelphia is facing new allegations that he ran a pill mill out of the now-closed facility.
Federal prosecutors say 70-year-old Kermit Gosnell wrote thousands of prescriptions for painkillers and sedatives for no legitimate medical purpose. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and more than $33 million in fines.
Seven members of Gosnell's staff were also charged Wednesday in the drug conspiracy case.
Gosnell allegedly ran a pill mill prescribing highly-addictive painkillers and sedatives including OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, Phenergan and Promethazine with Codeine from June 2008 through Feb. 18, 2010, according to the federal indictment.
Federal agents raided Gosnell's clinic in February 2010 after receiving reports that he was running a pill mill. They reported finding deplorable and unsanitary conditions, including fetal parts in jars.
That led to a state investigation and murder charges against Gosnell. Authorities say babies born alive were killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors.
Just Tuesday, Gosnell’s wife Pearl pleaded guilty to performing an illegal late-term abortion.
Gosnell still faces those charges but now could face more prison time for his alleged role as a pill-pusher.
"The charges state that customers, often referred to as drug 'seekers,' met with Gosnell briefly for a cursory exam or no exam, paid him a fee, and then were given prescriptions for controlled substances without there being any legitimate medical purpose for the prescriptions," said a release from U.S. prosecutors.
Gosnell allegedly charged up to $150 for an initial office visit, often meeting with “seekers” late at or after midnight, according to the indictment.
Gosnell's attorney, John J. McMahon Jr., says he was unaware of the new charges.
Charged in the indictment along with Gosnell were office staffers 26-year-old Kareema Cross of Philly, 23-year-old Tamirrah Fluellen of Philly and 52-year-old Sherry West of Newark, Del. Fluellen and West each face up to 140 years in prison -- with a one-year mandatory minimum sentence -- and $7 million in fines while Cross faces 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Also charged were office staffers 46-year-old Earlene Tina Baldwin of Philly, 29-year-old Lotosha Lewis of Philly and 43-year-old Lynda Gail Williams of Wilmington, Del. They each face conspiracy charges that carry up to 80 years in prison -- one-year mandatory minimum sentence -- and $4 million in fines.
Another former Gosnell employee, 49-year-old Steven Massof of Pittsburgh, Pa., faces 30 counts of illegally dispensing a controlled substance. The charges carry up to 120 years in prison and $7.5 million in fines.
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