A Columbus doctor could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for running a pill mill operation.
Terry Dragash, 59, admitted in federal court on Thursday that he over-prescribed the highly addictive pain medication OxyContin to patients who just wanted to get high.
Jenny Dunn is convinced her 26-year-old son John would be alive today if he never met Terry Dragash. She believes there is no doubt this Dragash’s prescriptions took John’s life.
An autopsy found her son died of mixed drug intoxication. But Dragash will never face charges in her son's death or four others associated with him. Prosecutors say they couldn't find the evidence that could prove the pills came from the former doctor.
“It is frustrating there are a lot of pills out there and people get addicted or worse,” Dunn says.
Investigators say addicts drove from as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania to the Columbus Southern Medical Clinic on South High Street before it was shut down. Dragash was seeing between 50 and 100 patients a day, according to prosecutors.
Investigators add that Dragash admitted in court he knew the patients were addicts, yet continued to feed their addictions by prescribing OxyContin.
His attorney Isabella Dixon says he is remorseful for his actions. “He’s a really a good guy and a good doctor and he does care about his patients.”
However, that's not how Jenny Dunn feels. She wants Dragash held accountable for those who died on his watch.
While former doctor didn't want to answer questions as he left federal court, prosecutors say he's answering their questions and cooperating. And that information could lead to the prosecution of others who prescribed pills at his former clinic.
As for Jenny Dunn, she says her son's death five years ago still seems like yesterday. “Five really long years.”
READ: Previous stories