Washington Federal Drug Trial Delayed While Former Cop Makes Guilty Plea

The federal trial for three people in a prescription drug scheme have been delayed, while a former police officer has pleaded guilty in the case.

Federal court officials say the trials for Amanda Bunch, Kevin Owens and Arron Jones have been continued to the March 13th term of court. Bunch was a nurse practitioner, Owens a former Highway Patrol sergeant, and Jones a registered nurse.

Former Washington police officer Justin Mixon pleaded guilty on October 22nd to one count for obtaining Oxycodone by "misrepresentation, fraud and deception." while other charges will be dismissed at sentencing. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says Mixon's plea agreement has been sealed.

According to Vidant Health Systems, Bunch and Jones were former employees of the Beaufort Regional Health System.

Last week, two other defendants in the case, Anna Moore and Lori Melton, had their charges dropped.

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The federal drug charges against two women, who were among six people arrested nearly a year ago, have been dropped.

Anna Moore and Lori Melton are no longer facing federal drug charges, after a hearing in federal court this week. Moore used to be a nurse anesthetist at the hospital in Washington, and Melton, her sister, was reported to be the manager of Tayloe's Hospital Pharmacy at the time of her arrest.

The order for dismissal says prosecutors dropped the charges, citing newly obtained information.

Four others remain charged in what was a 259-count federal indictment. The trial for former Washington Police Officer Justin Mixon, former Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Owens, former nurses Amanda Bunch and Arron Jones, is scheduled to start next week.