Sadler sentenced to 12 years in prison

December 3, 2012

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

A West Portsmouth resident and former co-owner of a pain clinic in Waverly, has been sentenced in U.S. District Court Southern Division in Columbus. Cincinnati Federal Judge Sandra Beckwith sentenced Lester “Ape” Sadler, 59, to 12-and-a-half years in prison Monday, and recommended a 500-hour drug treatment program.

Prosecutors said Lester Sadler had a protocol that the clinic see at least 40 cash-only patients a day.

A U.S. District Court jury convicted Sadler and his wife, Nancy Sadler, 52, of operating Ohio Medical and Pain Management LLC in Waverly as a continuing criminal enterprise in May of 2012.

The verdict was returned following three days of deliberation after a 10-day trial. In addition to conviction on the charge of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, the jury convicted clinic owner Nancy Sadler and Lester Sadler, of one count each of conspiracy and maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing drugs. The jury also convicted Nancy Sadler of one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering for the illegal purchase and sale of 40,200 units of hydrocodone to purchase a convertible.

The jury also found the Sadlers not guilty on 23 counts of illegal distribution of drugs, although that conduct was considered in reaching the guilty verdict on the continuing criminal enterprise count.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, testimony presented during the trial proved that the clinic operated as a “pill mill” by selling prescriptions for controlled substances (usually oxycodone), without a legitimate medical need for the prescriptions. Authorities said many of the prescriptions were openly sold and diverted. Testimony was presented during the trial that the clinic was usually open three or four days per week. New customers were normally charged $180 for the initial visit. Returning customers were charged $125 to $150 per visit. Witnesses testified that the customers received no genuine examination by a physician. Instead, witnesses said the clinic staff would often prepare the medical charts and prescription forms in advance, sit the customer down with the physician, and then the physician would sign the prescription at her desk.

Nancy and Lester Sadler also involved Lester’s elderly father, James Sadler, 81, in the operation. James Sadler changed his plea from not guilty to guilty on Dec. 20, 2011. He pleaded guilty to selling, distributing or dispensing controlled substances.

Nancy Sadler is expected to be sentenced Tuesday, and is, according to sources, expected to receive a heavier sentence than her husband.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.