In an affidavit, DEA Task Force Officer, TFO, Anthony Janutolo detailed the investigation leading to the arrest of Barbourville Councilman Calvin Manis.
A TFO since March 2019, Janutolo is assigned to the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Diversion Task Force. Among his duties are “investigating illegal drug trafficking organizations and diversion of controlled substance offenses.” Janutolo has been in law enforcement since June, 1995; serving with the Kentucky State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Kentucky Attorney general.
In the affidavit, Janutolo outlines the background into the Manis investigation and provides an overview of controlled substances. One regulation he notes is that “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.”
Janutolo then provides details that gave the task force probable cause to arrest Manis. He discusses interviewing a witness, referred to as Cooperating Witness (CW-1), on August 26, 2019. CW-1 told investigators he’d grown up with Manis and saw him socially. CW-1 also stated he’d been sponsoring, meaning providing money or other resources to another person to enable that person to obtain prescription controlled substances, since 2015.
CW-1 told the task force that Manis would fill prescriptions even when the individual the prescription was for was absent. Manis is also said to have met CW-1 several times after normal business hours to fill prescriptions. Per the affidavit, “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.”
Investigators also interviewed two married individuals referred to as S.H and F.H. They confirmed they were sponsored by CW-1 to obtain controlled prescriptions from out of state physicians. The affidavit states “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.”
Investigators noted that the individuals identified by CW-1 did have prescriptions filled at Parkway Pharmacy during the time period in question. CW-1, S.H, and F.H all obtained prescriptions on the same day and filled them at Parkway; the prescription numbers were sequential or nearly sequential, indicating they were filled at approximately the same time. Janutolo states, “Based on my training and experience, group travel of this nature is a recognized red flag for diversion among trained pharmacists.”
CW-1 states that they recently began sponsoring individuals to visit Gateway Medical in Clarksville, Tennessee. CW-1 would pay the fee to visit the physician and keep half the controlled substances the individual received, they would then advise that the individual fill the prescription at parkway Pharmacy. Records appear to corroborate witness testimony, showing more than a dozen controlled substance prescriptions from Gateway Medical in 2019.
During the investigation, investigators recorded a series of undercover calls with Manis. In one call, Manis tells CW-1 “(they) 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. Manis continued that CW-1 should take an individual referred to as S.J to a doctor in Lexington. “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,” says Janutolo, adding that the phone records show Manis was distributing controlled substances he knew were being diverted.
Investigators also found that CW-1 obtained prescriptions for their self from various out of state providers and filled them at Parkway. Parkway filled prescriptions during the described time frame by Dr. Hemal Mehta in 2018 and 2019. Mehta was indicted in October 2019 for conspiring to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
Janutolo concludes that Manis “unlawfully distributed controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and conspired to do the same.”