CLEVELAND, Ga. – The prognosis for Dr. John Michael Gowder, former CEO of Union General Hospital in Blairsville, became grave this week when he was indicted by a White County Grand Jury on 25 counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances.
As reported by Fetch Your News reporter Mark Smith, Gowder was indicted on similar charges in Towns and Union counties last month where police believe that he, his brother Dr. David Gowder, associate Dr. James Heaton and several Gowder family members were operating a pill mill and illegally distributing prescription pain killers like hydrocodone and oxycodone out of Union County.
11 Alive News reported back in March that court documents indicate Heaton wrote prescriptions for as many as 15,000 pills to the Gowders over a four-year period and that Michael Gowder filled them at pharmacies in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. According to testimony from investigators, both Michael Gowder and his brother David admitted being dependent on pain killers after taking them for back pain.
The defendants have maintained their innocence.
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