Judge orders doctor accused in drug ring to remain in jail

RENO — A judge ordered a Nevada doctor accused of writing a fatal painkiller prescription to remain jailed without bail on Tuesday, rejecting claims his constitutional rights have been violated in the year he’s been held since his arrest in a federal drug raid,

U.S. Magistrate Valerie Cooke refused to consider any conditions for the potential release of Dr. Robert Rand of Reno pending his July 25 trial for his alleged role as a co-conspirator in an illegal opioid ring.

“The court remains convinced this defendant poses a risk of flight,” Cooke said. She said he’s an experienced international traveler with access to money and could be looking at decades in prison if he’s convicted.

All eight of Rand’s co-defendants arrested last April already have pleaded guilty to drug charges in plea-bargain arrangements.

Rand’s lawyers argued during a hearing in U.S. District Court that his yearlong incarceration while presumed innocent is a violation of his right to due process guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

“He not only is cloaked in innocence, he has no criminal history. His worst offenses were two speeding tickets,” defense attorney Jack Fox said. “He has lost his medical practice. He has lost his reputation … He missed his child’s first steps.”

It marked the fourth time since his arrest that a judge has refused Rand’s request to set bail for his release.

In court filings before Tuesday’s hearing, Fox and co-counsel John Ohlson accused federal prosecutors of reneging on a deal to allow his release under strict conditions.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney James Keller told Cooke that agreement “was never finalized.” And the judge said it didn’t matter anyway.

“I’m not automatically going to rubber-stamp whatever agreement you and the government might have reached,” Cooke told Fox. “It ultimately is not your call. It is up to the court.”

Rand, 53, was indicted last May on charges accusing him of writing prescriptions for Oxycodone and other painkillers for people who didn’t need them, including Michael Yenick, a former University of Nevada football player who died in October 2015.

If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison or more on each of three felony counts, including distributing a controlled substance causing death.

Rand and the eight others originally were arrested on charges accusing them of conspiring to operate a pill mill out of Rand’s family practice and a Reno car dealership.

Fox said he expects prosecutors eventually will drop the conspiracy charge against Rand.

“The other eight pleaded guilty, and properly so,” Fox told the judge Tuesday. “Each of the eight swore to tell the truth, and not one of them said Dr. Rand prescribed drugs to any of them for anything other than a legitimate reason.”

“There is no evidence Dr. Rand participated in a conspiracy,” he said. “The government’s case is literally in a shambles.”

Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like