National Roundup

West Virginia
Doctor ­sentenced to 4 years for ­illegal opioid ­distribution

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A doctor convicted of illegally prescribing opioids to his patients in West Virginia has been sentenced to four years in prison.

News outlets cited a statement from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell’s office on Tuesday in reporting the sentence for 58-year-old Dr. Felix Brizuela Jr.

Brizuela was convicted in federal court in Clarksburg earlier this year on 15 counts of distributing controlled substances outside the bounds of professional medical practice.

Prosecutors say Brizuela distributed oxycodone, fentanyl and oxymorphone without a legitimate medical purpose in Monongalia County between 2013 and 2015.

Judge says estate of dead officer can sue city

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by a deceased Connecticut police officer who helped expose harassment and profiling of Latino residents of East Haven and helped send four colleagues to prison can go forward.

The New Haven Register reports that the judge’s decision said Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., as well as the current and former police chiefs, may have promoted an atmosphere of retaliation against Vincent Ferrara.

Ferrara sued the town, alleging civil rights violations. He says he suffered retribution for cooperating with federal investigators.

The city sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Ferrara was fired in January and died in May of brain cancer at age 54. His estate is now the plaintiff.

An attorney for the defendants said his clients are reviewing the decision and may appeal.

Woman ­sentenced to 5 years for sex trafficking ­operation

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A woman who prosecutors say drove female employees to massage businesses as part of her role in a sex trafficking operation has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that 53-year-old Fengling Liu, who formerly lived in Sunderland and now lives in Quincy, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to sex trafficking, money laundering and other charges.

The charges stem from a 2016 investigation into businesses Liu operated in Hadley, East Longmeadow and Framingham.

Charges against Liu’s husband and 26-year-old daughter were dropped as part of Liu’s plea deal.

One victim told prosecutors she was charged to live at one of the businesses and said Liu took a cut of each transaction.

Liu in a statement read by her attorney said she had done a terrible thing.

Prosecutor: Teen mother wanted back to her ­’perfect life’

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors say a teen mother tried to commit the “perfect crime” by disposing the body of an unwanted baby so she could resume her “perfect life.”

Defense attorneys portrayed a frightened girl stunned at the sight of a pale, stillborn baby. They say Brooke Skylar Richard­son was interrogated and goaded into telling investigators what they wanted to hear.

Both sides made opening statements Wednesday in Richardson’s aggravated murder trial. Now 20, the former cheerleader could face life in prison.

Warren County Assistant Pros­ecutor Steven Knippen displayed Richardson’s text messages describing how happy she was about her post-pregnancy body.

Attorney Charles M. Rittgers said prosecutors built their case on inaccurate information.

The infant’s remains were found in July 2017 in her family’s backyard in the southwest Ohio village of Carlisle.

Teen lost leg in DUI accident, sues driver, brewery

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A teen who lost his leg in a car wreck is suing the driver who crashed into him — along with the Salem brewery accused of over-serving the driver— for $3.5 million.

The Statesman Journal reports James Holland Jr., along with his parents, filed the negligence complaint against Jared Wayne Jones and Vagabond Brewing. The complaint says Jones was drinking at Vagabond Dec. 26, 2018, when he drove from Salem.

The then 16-year-old Holland was parked on the side of the road after his car broke down. Holland’s friends had arrived to jump-start his car, and he was standing with his friend when they were struck by Jones.

Jones pleaded guilty to DUI and assault and was sentenced to nine months in jail.

Management with Vagabond Brewing did not immediately respond to request for comment from the newspaper.

Doctor admits to knockoff breast implants scheme

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A southern Idaho doctor has pleaded guilty to surgically implanting counterfeit breast implants into at least nine women.

Boise television station KTVB reports Temp Ray Patterson, from Burley, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to felony receipt and delivery of misbranded devices. In a plea agreement, Patterson said he purchased the implants from China and had them shipped to Idaho, where he falsely passed them off as devices that were FDA approved. Patterson also gave the patients phony paperwork and labels that made it seem as if the implants were legitimate, according to the plea agreement.

Patterson agreed to pay $8,200 in restitution to each uncompensated victim. He was also banned from performing cosmetic surgery before his sentencing hearing next month.

He faces up to three years in prison for the crime.

Boy Scout leader pleads guilty to ­pornography, exploitation

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Boy Scout leader accused of recording boys changing clothes at a pool and inside teepees at an Ohio scout reservation has pleaded guilty to pornography and child exploitation charges.

Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Thomas Close of Shelby faces up to 33 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday.

Investigators say Close recorded boys at a YMCA, his home bathroom and the scout reservation.

An affidavit submitted by a Homeland Security investigator indicated that Close acknowledged filming boys between 2011 and 2018.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Lake Erie Council in northern Ohio has said it cooperated with investigators and banned Close from future participation with the group.

A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.