Carthage counselor pleads innocent to fed. charges

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) - A Carthage counselor has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging she illegally dispensed more than $1.5 million in prescription drugs.

The Joplin Globe reports that Tammy Neil entered the plea Thursday in response to a 24-count federal indictment. Neil is a licensed professional counselor.

A grand jury in U.S. District Court in Springfield on Wednesday indicted Neil, alleging that she and her deceased former husband, dispensed large quantities of prescription drugs. Her former husband, who was also her former business partner, is referred to in the indictment only as "Dr. A."

The indictment said the prescriptions were "outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose."

The violations allegedly involved the drugs hydrocodone, Valium and other controlled substances and took place between 2005 and 2008.

Information from: The Joplin Globe,

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