- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - After more than a year of court wrangling and six convictions related to a federal drug investigation, a Clarksburg pain doctor has pleaded no contest to five counts of illegally distributing prescription drugs.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II says Edita Milan, 75, of Fairmont pleaded no contest to the counts Tuesday in Clarksburg federal court.

“Today’s hearing is the end game for Dr. Milan, who let her greed overcome her morals and common sense and whose prescribing practices led to multiple overdose deaths,” said Ihlenfeld in a press release Tuesday.

Ihlenfeld says the judge accepted the no contest plea over the government’s objections. The no contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea, but allows Milan to admit the facts of the government’s case without technically admitting guilt.

She could face a maximum of between 10 and 20 years in prison on each charge; however, federal sentencing guidelines call for much less than the maximum punishments.

Milan ran a pain management office out of Bridgeport. Initially charged in July 2013, prosecutors alleged that Milan treated more than twice as many patients as she was permitted to treat with narcotics.

Milan voluntarily surrendered her Drug Enforcement Administration registration number at that time, meaning she can no longer prescribe controlled substances. Milan’s office is closed.

According to an earlier press release from Ihlenfeld, investigators initially focused on an employee of Milan’s who was selling painkillers to an undercover officer. A Harrison County pharmacist then provided information that shifted the investigation to Milan.

The initial criminal complaint alleged that Milan tried to conceal her connection to a patient who died of an overdose. Agents reviewed state health records and found that three other patients died as a result of overdoses between 2010 and 2011.

Agents seized hundreds of patient files from Milan’s office in June 2013 during a search.

Since then, six co-defendants have pleaded guilty to related charges.

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