Gosnell facing federal drug charges

    Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell is scheduled to appear in federal court today.

    Gosnell is known as the West Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of infanticide and providing substandard care to women, but those allegations first came to light during a federal drug investigation.

    Officers uncovered the filthy conditions at Gosnell’s clinic during a drug raid.

    Geoff Moulton, who teaches at Widener Law School, formerly worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia. He says there’s a history of good cooperation between state and federal jurisdictions in Philadelphia.

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    “The case itself is obviously quite unusual but it’s not unusual for federal and state authorities to share information and when the system is working well that’s what they do,” Moulton said.

    Experts say that, under the Speedy Trial Act, federal criminal cases often go to court within 70 days. Former federal prosecutor Michael Schwartz said the Gosnell case is likely to move much slower.

    “In the federal court system, the case has already been declared complex because of the voluminous number of records that the government has uncovered in the course of its investigation that will have to be disclosed to the defense,” Schwartz said.

    Federal prosecutors say Gosnell ran a “pill mill” and sold thousands of illegal prescriptions for frequently-abused drugs such as OxyContin and Xanax.

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