Ex-W.Va. doctor gets 6 months in pill mill probe

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A former doctor will spend six months behind bars after a federal judge said she flooded southern West Virginia with prescription pain pills.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver called the sentence he handed Diane Shafer on Tuesday a warning over the scourge of drugs in that region.

Shafer pleaded guilty in May to a conspiracy charge. The 60-year-old admitted she left signed prescription slips at her Mingo County office for staff to hand out in her absence.

Defense lawyer Dwane Tinsley requested probation. Tinsley called Shafer's crime an administrative lapse. He also told the judge that Shafer was needed at home to care for her 81-year-old mother.

But Copenhaver cited how Shafer was the 10th-biggest provider of prescription controlled substances in West Virginia during the time period scrutinized by prosecutors.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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