Johnstown Pharmacist Charged in 109-Count Indictment with Illegally Filling Bogus Prescriptions

PITTSBURGH, PA – A Johnstown, Pa. pharmacist has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of dispensing and distributing controlled substances and conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced last Friday.

The 109-count indictment, returned on Oct. 30, named Joseph M. Martella, 53, of Johnstown, Pa.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Martella owned and operated Martella’s Pharmacy located on Franklin Street in Johnstown. The indictment alleges that Martella, a pharmacist, conspired with Dr. Peter James Ridella, who previously pleaded guilty, and with an individual known as “J.R.”, to create and submit unlawful prescriptions for oxycodone; oxycodone and acetaminophen, also known as Percocet; oxymorphone, also known as Opana; morphine sulfate, also known as MS Contin and hydrocodone and acetaminophen, also known as Vicodin, and then unlawfully dispensed those controlled substances to other persons.

The law provides for a maximum per count sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.