Ex-clinic owner appeals in pain pill case

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Louisiana businessman convicted of distributing oxycodone and methadone pills in eastern Kentucky will get a chance to argue for his freedom before a federal appeals court.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has set a June 18 hearing date for 48-year-old Michael D. Leman of Slidell, La. A jury in Lexington convicted Leman in 2011 of using medical clinics to prescribe the drugs to bogus patients. He was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

From 2004 to 2008, authorities say, runners would travel from Kentucky to Leman-owned clinics in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio to pick up prescriptions for drugs. Prosecutors say runners would keep half the prescription and sell the rest in places such as Pike and Floyd counties, where prescription drug abuse is rampant.

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