Johnstown pharmacist pleads guilty to unlawfully dispensing painkillers

Local News

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Johnstown pharmacist has pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday after he was charged with unlawfully distributing and dispensing a controlled substance. 57-year-old Joseph Martella was sentenced by United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon to six months probation and a $3,000 fine.

Between November 2013 and June 2016, Martella, a licensed pharmacist, dispensed oxycodone, morphine sulfate, and hydrocodone by filling prescriptions at Martella Pharmacy in Johnstown, knowing said prescriptions were not issued for legitimate medical purposes.

In addition, Martella agreed in a settlement with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that he would not dispense Schedule II or III narcotics for a period of three years and that Martella’s Pharmacy would pay a civil settlement of $300,000 and follow regulatory and reporting requirements established by the DEA.

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