Charges against a doctor who practiced in Hillsboro until his arrest for alleged drug trafficking will be taken straight to a grand jury after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Dr. John C. Hodge, 33, Jackson, was arrested July 5 and charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs.
The arrest came after an investigation by the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force, the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit and the Hillsboro Police Department into allegations that Hodge was selling narcotic prescriptions, according to a news release at the time of the arrest from Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera.
Hodge’s attorney, Lee Koogler, said this week that Hodge waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the case will proceed to the grand jury, which will meet again on Aug. 2.
When the arrest was made, Barrera said that the alleged illegal activity had apparently been going on for some time, and that it was initially brought to local law enforcement’s attention by the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force. He said the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy was also involved.
The sheriff said Hodge worked out of the HealthSource of Ohio office, behind Walgreens, at 1108 Northview Drive, where he was arrested without incident. A search warrant was served at the doctor’s office in Hillsboro where cash, miscellaneous drugs, a firearm and drug paraphernalia were recovered, Barrera said at the time.
Hodge was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony. Barrera said additional charges were pending as the investigation continues.
Hodge appeared July 6 in Hillsboro Municipal Court where his bond was originally set at $50,000. Koogler said this week that his client is free but on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
According to a Health Care for People website, Hodge is a family practice physician. The website says he graduated with honors from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2010 and that he “has more than six years of diverse experiences, especially in family practice.”