Baton Rouge police and fire briefs for April 22, 2014

Doctor booked on obstruction of justice

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Baton Rouge doctor Tuesday accused of falsifying records during an inquiry earlier this year into a prescription drug ring allegedly run out of the Louisiana Spine and Sports Medicine clinic.

Deputies booked Walter Wright Ellis, 42, 227 Riverwood Drive, St. Rose, into Parish Prison on counts of obstruction of justice.

Earlier this year, authorities arrested six people in an alleged prescription drug ring that involved the Louisiana Spine and Sports Medicine clinic from August 2008 to December 2013 and led to more 60,000 prescription drugs said to have been fraudulently obtained during that time.

Investigators on Feb. 18 subpoenaed documents from Ellis pertinent to the investigation and he provided documents to them three days later, the arrest warrant says.

But investigators later learned Ellis created the documents after receiving the subpoena to avoid connecting him to the drug ring, the warrant says.

They think he signed prescriptions for hydrocodone that Benjamin Landry, 40, 58475 Island Drive, Plaquemine, one of the people accused in the ring, later filled and sold, the warrant says.

Authorities book five on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Monday and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Michael Labarthe, 23, 445 Beverly Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, improper lane usage, reckless operation and disobeying a red light.
  • Evan Matheny, 19, 15217 Jim Mayers Road, Prairieville, first-offense DWI and speeding.
  • Randal New, 23, 2713 La. 63, Clinton, first-offense DWI, license plate required, disobeying a red light and motor vehicle inspection required.
  • Jerry Schmidt, 26, 2245 College Drive, DWI-second offense, negligent injuring with vehicle, careless operation, failure to maintain control.
  • Jordan Ziler, 21, 504 Orangewood Drive, Lafayette, first-offense DWI and improper lane usage.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.