DRUG CASE Trial under way for chiropractor
Three defendants were indicted on a variety of drug-related charges.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A jury trial for a local chiropractor, who is facing 106 mostly drug-related charges, is expected to continue today.
The trial of Dr. Charles Theisler, 53, of Ruby Court, Austintown, began Monday in the courtroom of Judge Andrew Logan of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.
Atty. Chris Becker, the assistant Trumbull County prosecutor on the case, said additional witnesses are expected today. He believes the case will last about a week.
"This is not a complex case despite so many charges," Becker told jurors during opening statements. "This was a medical practice that ran amok."
However, Dr. Theisler's attorney, John Jushasz of Boardman, disagreed and told the jurors that those that received the prescriptions were not "junkies," but people with medical conditions.
Dr. Theisler and two co-defendants in the case, Dr. William E. Masters, 72, of Genesee Avenue Northeast, Warren, and Dr. Christopher J. Sherman, 53, of Old Wagon Lane, Howland, were indicted in March 2004.
All three had worked out of Pain Management Associates, 5000 E. Market St., Warren.
All were indicted on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravating trafficking in drugs, trafficking in drugs, illegal processing of drug documents and practicing medicine without a certificate. Dr. Sherman also faces two additional counts of aggravated possession of drugs.
Dr. Sherman pleaded guilty last week to two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. Dr. Masters' case is still pending.
The indictment alleges that Dr. Sherman and Dr. Masters permitted Dr. Theisler to issue presigned prescriptions to patients for schedule II and schedule III controlled substances.
Dr. Theisler is not authorized to prescribe the controlled substances, Becker has said.
Becker has noted that from July 2001 to Jan. 26, 2004, Dr. Masters billed patients $1.2 million, even though those patients were actually seen by Dr. Theisler.
Likewise, Dr. Sherman billed patients $18,000 during the same time frame for patients seen by Dr. Theisler, prosecutors said.
Some of the prescriptions were for OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription painkiller, prosecutors said.
The indictments were the result of a three-month investigation conducted by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, Trumbull County Sheriff's Department and the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office.