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Putnam County doctor convicted of illegally prescribing pills

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A Putnam County doctor will be sentenced in November for unlawfully distributing opioids to his patients and fueling addictions.

Dr. Ricky L. Houdersheldt, 68, of Hurricane was convicted of 17 counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose following a six-day federal trial.

The drugs prescribed included hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, acetaminophen codeine phosphate and diazepam, according to case records.

At times, the claim was, the drugs were prescribed in dangerous combinations.

For one female patient, prosecutors alleged Houdersheldt would meet her in parking lots instead of at his office to provide prescriptions in an attempt to establish a sexual relationship with her.

The Drug Enforcement Administration was involved in the investigation focused on Houdersheldt, who was indicted last September, along with the Hurricane Police Department as part of the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force.

Houdersheldt’s sentencing date was set for Nov. 23 in front of U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers in the Southern District of West Virginia.

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