A Barbourville City Councilman was abruptly arrested on federal drug charges last week in relation to a private business he owns and operates.
Calvin Manis, owner of Parkway Pharmacy and a sitting city councilman, was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration officials Wednesday afternoon at his place of business. Manis was charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to unlawfully distribute a controlled substance.
Manis was placed in custody of the United States Marshals and was lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center awaiting a hearing that was set for Tuesday, June 30 at United States District Court in London. At that hearing, Manis was released with conditions. Manis’ son-in-law was required to remove all firearms and associated materials from his father-in-law’s residence as a condition of his release.
Manis was also ordered to have no contact with current or former employees of Parkway Pharmacy, and he cannot leave the eastern district of Kentucky.
Manis’ arrest comes after an investigation by DEA Task Force Officer Anthony Janutolo. The affidavit from Janutolo included interviews with witnesses and recorded phone calls with Manis.
Mayor David Thompson issued a statement to The Mountain Advocate following the arrest of Manis by federal agents.
Thompson stated “In Calvin’s almost 20 years as a Barbourville city council member he has done an outstanding job and at no time during the 20 years has his personal life or business life ever had an effect on the job he has done as a council member. At this time, myself and the council as a whole will keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Thompson added that while he and Manis don’t interact frequently outside of the legislative body, “the job he’s done with that has been outstanding for nearly 20 years.”
Manis previously had a run-in with federal authorities in 2008 for illegal firearm sales. As a result of that investigation, he was sentenced to one year in federal prison. He previously served as a city councilman before his arrest, and won election to serve again years later.
The full affidavit is featured below.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY SOUTHERN DIVISION
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
Case No. 6:20-MJ-6092-HAI
Filed Under Seal
I, Task Force Officer Anthony Janutolo of the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”), being duly sworn under oath, do hereby depose and state:
1. I have been a DEA Task Force Officer since March 2019. I am employed by the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General and have been so employed for approximately 5 ½ years. During this time, I have been assigned to the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“AHIDTA”) Diversion Task Force. My duties since joining the Task Force have consisted, in part, of investigating illegal drug trafficking organizations and diversion of controlled substance offenses. Through my training and duties in this capacity, I have participated and assisted in numerous state and federal investigations involving multi-state drug trafficking organizations conspiring with providers and pharmacists in the distribution of controlled substances. During these investigations, the Affiant has acted in an undercover capacity and purchased narcotics from these organizations. The Affiant has participated in the debriefing of witnesses, cooperating sources of information, and defendants regarding the modus operandi of narcotics traffickers and the diversion of controlled substances.
2. I have been a law enforcement officer since June of 1995. Prior to being employed by the Kentucky Attorney General and assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration, I retired from the Kentucky State Police. During this time, I served as a uniform Trooper and a narcotics detective assigned to the Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations Unit. In addition to the Kentucky State Police basic law enforcement training academy, I completed training in drug conspiracy investigations, money laundering, financial investigations and undercover operations.
3. As a federal Task Force Officer, I am authorized to investigate violations of United States laws and to execute warrants issued under the authority of the United States.
4. The purpose of this affidavit is to secure an arrest warrant for Calvin MANIS (“MANIS”), a registered pharmacist who owns and operates of Parkway Pharmacy (Parkway), located at 726 S. US Hwy 25E, Barbourville, Kentucky.
5. I have summarized below information obtained I have obtained in the course of this investigation, as well as information I have obtained from other investigators, agents, and witnesses. This affidavit does not contain all facts known to me concerning the investigation. Instead, I have set forth only those facts which I believe are necessary to establish probable cause to believe that MANIS has committed one or more violations of federal law. Further, because the underlying investigation is continuing, the information set forth below in based on the facts known to me at the present.
6. Agents and investigators from the DEA Resident Office in London, Kentucky, have been conducting an investigation relating to Calvin MANIS (“MANIS”), a registered pharmacist who owns and operates of Parkway Pharmacy, located at 726 S. US Hwy 25E, Barbourville, Kentucky.
7. MANIS is licensed as a registered pharmacist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. MANIS owns and operates Parkway Pharmacy (“Parkway”), located at 726 S. US Hwy 25E, Barbourville, Kentucky.
8. On July 3, 2008, MANIS pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Kentucky to a misdemeanor charge of misbranding a drug in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 331(k). See United States v. Calvin Lynn Manis, Case No. 08-CR-63. MANIS was sentenced to three years of probation and a $10,000 fine. Id.
9. In addition to owning and operating his pharmacy business, MANIS previously sold firearms as a federally-licensed firearms dealer. On October 15, 2008, MANIS pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Kentucky to one count of being a licensed firearms dealer who failed to maintain records of transactions at his place of business in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(m) and 924(a)(3)(B). See United States v. Calvin Lynn Manis, Case No. 6:08-CR-00115-DCR. (This case was related to the misbranding case discussed in the preceding paragraph.) The Court subsequently sentenced MANIS to one year of imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, and a 12-month term of supervised release for this offense. Id.
OVERVIEW OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
10. Under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), it is “unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally . . . to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance” unless otherwise authorized by law. In turn, conspiring with another to unlawfully distribute or dispense a controlled substance is a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.
11. Certain professionals, including doctors and pharmacists, are authorized to distribute or dispense controlled substances, see 21 C.F.R. § 1306.03-06, but only so long as they comply with federal law, including the regulations promulgated pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 821. Under those regulations, “[a] prescription for a controlled substance to be effective must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his professional practice.” 21 C.F.R. § 1306.04.
12. While “[t]he responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner . . . a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription.” Id. “An order purporting to be a prescription issued not in the usual course of professional treatment or in legitimate and authorized research is not a prescription . . . and the person knowingly filling such a purported prescription, as well as the person issuing it, shall be subject to the penalties provided for violations of the provisions of law relating to controlled substances.” Id.
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
13. On August 26, 2019, investigators from the London DEA office and the Barbourville Police Department interviewed a cooperating witness (“CW-1”). CW-1’s identity is known to me and other investigating agents. CW-1 stated that he grew up with MANIS and that he saw MANIS socially.
14. CW-1 told investigators that he had been “sponsoring”1 individuals to obtain prescription controlled substances since 2015. CW-1 stated that he paid for the cost of the physician visit, as well as the cost of the medications from the pharmacy, for the individuals he sponsored. In some instances, CW-1 also personally drove the individuals he sponsored to and from out-of-state physicians, as well as to the pharmacy where the prescriptions were filled. In return, the sponsored individuals provided some or all of the prescription controlled substances to CW-1.
15. CW-1 told investigators that MANIS filled controlled substance prescriptions for the individuals CW-1 sponsored. In some instances, MANIS even filled prescriptions for individuals CW-1 sponsored without the individual (to whom the prescription was issued) being present to pick up the prescription. CW-1 also met MANIS multiple times at Parkway after normal business hours for MANIS to fill controlled substance prescriptions for individuals CW-1 sponsored.
16. CW-1 identified several individuals he sponsored by name, as well as certain out-of-state clinics and physicians from which the individuals he sponsored obtained controlled substance prescriptions. For example, CW-1 stated that he sponsored individuals named C.W., S.H., and F.H., among others, to obtain controlled substance prescriptions from certain out-of-state providers.
17. Investigators separately interviewed S.H. and F.H.,2 who are married. Bothconfirmed that they had been sponsored by CW-1 to obtain controlled substance prescriptions from out-of-state physicians. Both also confirmed that MANIS filled controlled substance prescriptions they obtained while CW-1 sponsored them at Parkway. They typically paid MANIS cash to fill the prescriptions and provided CW-1 with a share of the controlled substances after the prescriptions were filled.
18. Prescription records3 appear to corroborate the information CW-1, S.H. and
F.H. provided to investigators. For example, investigators identified a series of prescriptions from Dr. Van Winkle in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who is one of the doctors CW-1 identified to investigators, which were filled in the names C.W., F.H., and S.H. at Parkway in late 2016 and early 2017.
19. Several aspects of the data appear to corroborate CW-1’s account that he was sponsoring these individuals to obtain and fill prescriptions as a group. To begin with, investigators confirmed that the individuals CW-1 identified did, in fact, fill controlled substance prescriptions at Parkway during the time period in question. Further, the three individuals listed above obtained the prescriptions on the same days and filled them at the same pharmacy (Parkway). Additionally, the prescription numbers are either sequential or nearly sequential, indicating that the pharmacy dispensed the prescriptions at approximately the same time on the date of fill. Based on my training and experience, group travel of this nature is a recognized red flag for diversion among trained pharmacists.
It also appears to confirm CW-1’s account that he coordinated these individuals’ travel to this out-of-state provider to obtain the prescriptions.
20. CW-1 also told investigators that he most recently began sponsoring individuals to go to a clinic located in Clarksville, Tennessee, called Gateway Medical. CW-1 identified a number of individuals he sponsored to obtain controlled substances from Gateway Medical, including C.W. and F.H. (two of the individuals also identified above). CW-1 stated that he commonly paid the fee for the physician visit and the cost to fill the prescription at the pharmacy. In exchange, CW-1 received half of the controlled substances the individual received. CW-1 further advised he and the individuals he sponsored filled the prescriptions they obtained from Gateway Medical primarily at Parkway.
21. S.H. and F.H. confirmed to investigators that CW-1 sponsored F.H. to obtain prescriptions from Gateway Medical. S.H. and F.H. each described how they repeatedly traveled to Gateway Medical to obtain prescriptions in F.H.’s name, although F.H. seldom took the pills herself. S.H. typically obtained money from CW-1 to cover the costs of the office visit (typically around $400), as well as the cost of the prescription at Parkway (typically around $400). F.H. states that once she obtained the prescription from the physician, she typically gave it to S.H. and “he does everything else,” including filling the prescriptions. S.H. typically took the prescriptions into Parkway to be filled while F.H. waited in the car. S.H. and F.H. both recounted that CW-1 received half of the prescription drugs in exchange for the money he provided to them.
22. Again, prescription records appear to corroborate the information CW-1, S.H., and F.H. provided to investigators, showing that F.H. filled more than a dozen controlled substance prescriptions from Gateway Medical at Parkway in 2019.
23. In the course of the investigation, investigators recorded a series of undercover telephone calls with MANIS. The summaries below are not intended to be a verbatim transcript of the conversations, but are intended to relay the substance of these conversations to the Court.
24. On December 7, 2019, investigators met with CW-1. At the direction of investigators, CW-1 attempted a recorded telephone call to MANIS to discuss filling prescriptions for two patients that CW-1 intended to obtain by sponsoring the two patients to go to Gateway Medical. CW-1 made contact with MANIS’ wife and she told CW-1 that they were in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, but she would have MANIS call CW-1. MANIS later called CW-1 and they had a conversation that was recorded. In that discussion, MANIS said he would fill C.W.’s prescription, but that he needed to get away from the doctor at Gateway Medical in Tennessee. MANIS further stated that the DEA and other law enforcement entities were watching the doctor. CW-1 stated that he already had money invested in C.W. and if MANIS could help him this time, CW-1 would set C.W. up with a doctor in Lexington. CW-1 also asked MANIS about filling S.J.’s prescription and MANIS advised he could not help CW-1 with S.J. MANIS said he could not take any new patients that were going to the doctor in Tennessee, but if CW-1 took S.J. to a doctor in Lexington, MANIS would fill the prescription.
25. Based on my training and experience, MANIS’ statements on the December 7, 2019, call corroborate that when MANIS filled prescriptions for the individuals CW-1 sponsored, he was distributing controlled substances knowing that they were being
diverted. Based on my training and experience, there is no legitimate reason for a pharmacist to discuss a patient’s controlled substance prescriptions with a third party in this fashion. MANIS’ apparent concern about law enforcement scrutiny further shows his knowledge and intent.
26. On December 20, 2019, investigators met again with CW-1. At the direction of investigators, CW-1 spoke in a recorded telephone call to MANIS in which he discussed filling C.W.’s prescription that C.W. obtained from Gateway Medical on December 19, 2019 (while being sponsored by CW-1). During the conversation, CW-1 advised MANIS that he and C.W. had returned to Kentucky from the clinic late the previous night and he wanted to know if MANIS would meet him to fill C.W.’s prescriptions. MANIS advised that although he was not working at the pharmacy that day, another pharmacist was working and would fill it for him since C.W. was already in the computer. CW-1 expressed concern that he did not think “the guy there would do it,” but MANIS stated that the pharmacist working there would (although another pharmacist who works on other days would not). MANIS then advised CW-1 that he (MANIS) would telephone the pharmacy. CW-1 then asked MANIS how much the prescriptions for C.W. would cost because he wanted to make sure he had enough money. After CW-1 told MANIS the types and quantities of prescriptions C.W. received (oxycodone and oxymorphone), MANIS advised the prescriptions would cost a total of approximately $410.00.
27. Investigating officers observed CW-1 fill both of C.W.’s prescriptions at Parkway on December 20, 2019. The supposed patient, C.W., was not present when Parkway filled the prescription. Investigating officers made copies of the prescriptions and retained possession of the controlled substances (oxycodone and oxymorphone) obtained on that date.
28. Prescription records confirm that Parkway filled a number of similar controlled substance prescriptions issued from Gateway Medical to C.W. in 2019, including the prescriptions I observed Parkway fill for CW-1 on December 20, 2019.
29. In addition to sponsoring individuals to obtain prescription controlled substances, CW-1 also obtained prescriptions himself from various out-of-state providers and filled those prescriptions at Parkway. For instance, investigators learned that CW-1 filled a number of prescriptions at Parkway issued by Dr. Hemal Mehta in 2018 and 2019, which falls within the timeframe that CW-1 was also sponsoring other individuals to obtain controlled substances. Dr. Mehta was indicted in the Middle District of Tennessee in October 2019 for conspiring to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and unlawfully distributing controlled substances. I know from my training and experience that MANIS’ apparent knowledge of CW-1’s sponsoring activities would have also called into question the legitimacy of the prescriptions CW-1 obtained in his own name, yet Parkway filled those prescriptions anyway.
30. In light of the foregoing, I respectfully submit that there is probable cause to believe that MANIS unlawfully distributed controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841, and also conspired to do the same in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.
REQUEST FOR SEALING
31. I further request that the Court order that all papers in support of this application, including the affidavit and complaint, be sealed until the requested arrest warrant is executed. These documents discuss an ongoing criminal investigation that is neither public nor known to all of the targets of the investigation. Accordingly, there is good cause to seal these documents because their premature disclosure may seriously jeopardize that investigation
/s/ Anthony Janutolo w.p.b. Hanly A. Ingram
TFO Anthony Janutolo
Drug Enforcement Administration
Attested remotely per Rule 4.1(b)(2)(A).
Jun 22, 2020
Honorable Hanly A. Ingram United States Magistrate Judge