Chattanooga Pain Clinic Owners And Operators Indicted For Illegal Distribution Of Drugs

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A federal grand jury in Chattanooga has returned a sealed 66-count indictment against Faith Blake, a.k.a Faith Marvell Brueland, Faith Fuentes, and Faith Baker, 40, of Houston; Barbara Lang, a.k.a Barbara Langford and Aunt Bea, 58, of Rossville; Charles Reed Larmore, a.k.a Chuck Larmore, 64, of Chattanooga, and Dr. Jerome Arnold Sherard, 58, of Hixson. The indictment was unsealed Tuesday.
 

Ms. Blake, Ms. Lang, Larmore, and Sherard are charged with conspiring to illegally distribute and dispense several controlled substances, including oxycodone, methadone, morphine, hydrocodone (Vicoden), and alprazolam (Xanax).

  They are also charged with maintaining drug-involved premises (pain clinics).  Larmore and Sherard are also charged with specific distributions of controlled substances to certain patients. 

Forfeiture allegations seeking $7.2 million were also brought by the grand jury.  The indictment details over $1 million in cash and bank accounts that have already been seized.  

Ms. Blake and Ms. Lang owned and operated Superior One Medical Clinic at different locations in Chattanooga from December 2010 to July 2011. Ms.  Blake operated Elite Care Pain Clinic at different locations in Chattanooga from August to November 2011. Ms. Lang and Larmore operated Primary Care and Pain Clinic at different locations in Chattanooga from August 2011 to the present.  Sherard also operated his own medical practice under several names including, Sherard Clinic, Sherard Pediatric Clinic, Sherard Family Clinic, Sherard Medical Center, Sherard General Practice and Pain Management Clinic, and Skyview Medical Center of Chattanooga, from at least September 2009 through June 2012.  Sherard was also the medical director for Superior One Medical Center and Elite Care Pain Clinic.  Larmore was a nurse practitioner who worked at Superior One Medical Center and Primary Care and Pain Clinic before becoming the owner of Primary Care and Pain Clinic.
 
Ms. Blake was arrested in Houston on Sept. 6. She appeared in court on Sept. 7 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment.  She was released pending trial.
 
Ms. Lang and Larmore were arrested in Chattanooga.  Sherard was arrested in Seymour, Tn.  They appeared in court on Sept. 7 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in the indictment.  They were also released pending trial which has been set for Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.  As part of their conditions of release, both Larmore and Sherard surrendered their DEA licenses and are now prohibited from writing prescriptions for controlled substances. 
 
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each of the conspiracy charges, up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 on each of the maintaining a drug involved premises charges, and prison terms of up to 20 years and fines of up to $1 million for each distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance, up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 for each distribution of a Schedule III controlled substance, and up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for each distribution of a Schedule IV controlled substance.  
 
As part of this investigation, on June 5, 23 individuals from Roane County who utilized these clinics as sources for their prescription drugs were charged with drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracies.  To date, 18 of those have either pleaded guilty or signed plea agreements on file with the U.S. District Court.  Trial for the remaining individuals in that case is set for Feb. 19, 2013.  John Wesley Goss, 58, of Rockwood, Tn., is the lead defendant in the Knoxville case.  Some individuals in that case face up to life imprisonment, others up to 30 years in prison, and the remainder up to 20 years in prison.  All could face fines of at least $1 million.   
 
“Prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem in our district and country.  We will continue to aggressively indict and prosecute those cases,” said U.S. Attorney William C. Killian. 
                                               
The indictments are the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chattanooga Police Department, Roane County Sheriff’s Office, Rockwood Police Department, and Kingston Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan will represent the United States in the Chattanooga case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Stone represents the United States in the Knoxville case. 
 
 
 

Patten Towers Resident Charged In Wreck That Clogged U.S. 27 On Sunday

A Patten Towers resident is charged in a wreck that clogged the northbound lanes of U.S. 27 on Sunday. Melanie Evette Dobbs, 56, was charged with four counts of reckless endangerment, DUI, failure to maintain lane, violating the Implied Consent Law and failing to have insurance. Police responded to a collision at 9:45 p.m. in which a Dodge Caravan had struck a Kia sedan that ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain Art Dealer Says Bookkeeper Embezzled Funds

Lookout Mountain art dealer Frank Fowler says in a Chancery Court lawsuit that his bookkeeper embezzled a large amount of funds. The suit was filed against Francine Labbe. Ms. Labbe has been performing accounting, financial reporting and other administrative duties at the Fowler office on Watauga Lane, it was stated. Ms. Labbe, who was paid an annual salary of $72,000, ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me too contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Knoxville’s Godsend

Back when we were uppity teenagers, the best put-down when a friend started acting crazy was to say to the heathen, “Quit acting like you are from Knoxville!” I don’t know how the term originated but I can say that back in the day it was pretty insulting to be told you were acting like you were from Knoxville. This week I wish that more of us acted like Knoxville. The Knox County ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Red Bank's Kendall Farr Hurls No-Hitter Against Tyner

Kendall Farr was on the money Wednesday afternoon as she hurled a no-hitter and struck out seven as the Red Bank Lionettes blanked Tyner, 10-0, in six innings. Kelsey Peden and Destiny Painter both had two RBIs for the Lionettes while Hannah Wood had a triple and Sami Shrader a double.  Peden also had a double. With Farr improving to 3-2 on the season,, Red Bank finished ... (click for more)