WV Governor's Brother Charged in Prescription Drug Distribution

Two Feb. 26 events illustrated the severity of the drug problem in West Virginia: a forum on the emerging heroin epidemic and a charge of illegal drug distribution by a man identified as the governor's brother.

Two Feb. 26 events in Charleston, W.Va., illustrated the severity of the drug abuse problem in the state. The office of U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced it had charged Carl Tomblin, 50, of Chapmanville, W.Va., with illegally distributing oxymorphone, a painkiller often sold under the brand name Opana, on Dec. 6, 2013. Goodwin also headed a roundtable discussion about increasing use of heroin in the state on Feb. 26.

The Charleston Gazette's David Gutman and The Charleston Daily Mail's Andrea Lannom confirmed that Carl Tomblin is the brother of West Virginia's governor, Earl Ray Tomblin.

Gutman's report quotes Carl Tomblin's lawyer, Robert Kuenzel, as saying that his client, "like many residents of southern West Virginia, has fallen victim to prescription drug addiction. This illness has resulted in actions that he now accepts responsibility for."

The heroin roundtable was scheduled to include state legislators, West Virginia's chief medical examiner, the Huntington Police Department's chief, and Dr. P. Bradley Hall, president of the WV Society of Addiction Medicine, among others.

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