May 22, 2007: The Indictment
Volkman’s indictment was unsealed on May 22, 2007. The 22-count, 35-page document accused the doctor and two others – the mother and daughter duo of Denise Huffman and Alice Huffman Ball – with running a vast prescription drug-dealing operation under the guise of legitimate pain-management clinics in Southern Ohio. The indictment alleged that this operation earned the partners over $3 million in illegal proceeds and led to the overdose deaths of fourteen patients.
The following day – May 23, 2007 – the DEA issued a press release describing these allegations, giving credit to various law enforcement agencies that had contributed to the investigation (“Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Scioto County Coroner’s Office…Pipeline 23 Drug Task Force…Drug Enforcement Administration offices in Columbus; Cincinnati; Louisville; London, Kentucky; Cleveland; Detroit, and Chicago, and the FBI office in Portsmouth…”), and, at the end of the document, reminding readers that:
An indictment is merely an accusation. The burden of proof is on the government to show that the defendants actually committed the crimes with which they are charged.