"Pill Mill" sentencing will be held today - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

"Pill Mill" sentencing will be held today

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This morning was spent with attorneys from both sides arguing about which sentencing guidelines should apply to Dr. Thomas Trieu and his wife Dr. Victoria Van.

Judge Louis Guirola Jr. reminded defense attorneys he heard a lot of information about the case during the recent trial of pharmacist Nick Tran. Guirola said he listened to medical testimony about appropriate procedures for prescribing narcotics and that he will not rely entirely on what he heard, but he will use the information to help him make his decision.

The prosecution has recommended probation for Dr. Van. Her defense attorney Michael Crosby told the court she accepts responsibility for her part in this and knows she has brought shame upon her family and community. Crosby said, " The tears they have shed over this case, it's horrible."

Judge Guirola reminded both sides that he alone will make the decision about the sentence, "I'm not just a potted plant up here on that's going to do what everyone wants me to do. I will consider everything and make my own conclusions."

The defendants are expected to address the court this afternoon before sentencing is imposed. The court will also hear from family members of several former patients at the "Family Medical Center."

Dr. Trieu and Dr. Van were accused of taking part in a conspiracy to illegally distribute hundreds of prescription narcotics at their "Family Medical Center." Both pleaded guilty to lesser charges rather than going to trial.

Dr. Trieu pleaded guilty to one felony and two misdemeanors and his wife pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor. He faces a maximum of six years in prison while she faces up to one year behind bars. Pharmacist Nick Tran was also charged in the drug case. Earlier this month, a jury found him not guilty on 43 counts. The jury was "hung" on 11 additional counts. Nick Tran will be tried again on those charges June first.

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