Woman sentenced for pill mill connection

By The Mercury

TOPEKA — A Manhattan woman has been sentenced to two years of federal probation for her connection to a pill mill that authorities busted in August 2012.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom stated in a news release that Sarah Harding-Huffine, 30, had been sentenced Monday after she pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs.

Harding admitted in her plea that she conspired with co-defendant Michael Schuster, 54, while he was operating Manhattan Pain and Spine and New Medical Group, which was located at 1135 Westport Drive.

According to the release, Harding-Huffine — who wasn’t a licensed health care provider — distributed controlled substances to Schuster’s patients using blank prescription pads he had pre-signed.

On various occasions, Harding-Huffine distributed substances while Schuster was traveling out of the country.

The Riley County Police Department began investigating Schuster in early 2012, when it received reports that he was issuing prescriptions for high dosages of scheduled drugs based on minimal physical exams.

Schuster pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances.

He was sentenced earlier this month to five years in federal prison.

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