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Belmont Urgent Care is searched

DEA, local officers conduct investigation

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK Multiple law enforcement agencies cordoned off the Belmont Urgent Care Center in St. Clairsvlle on Monday. The Drug Enforcement Administraton confirmed the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force was on the scene.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Multiple law enforcement, including city, county and federal agencies, conducted a search Monday at the Belmont Urgent Care Center walk-in clinic, at 187 W. Main St., St. Clairsville. The clinic is owned and operated by Dr. Troy Balgo, who also serves as Belmont County coroner.

Officials cordoned off the area with police tape for most of Monday as officials were seen going in and out of the clinic building.

Employees had no comment as they left late the center in the morning. Officers from the St. Clairsville Police Department, Belmont County Sheriff’s deputies, the Belmont County Major Crimes Unit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were on the scene of the clinic and adjoining Serenity Med Spa.

“This is a federal investigation, so I’m not authorized to make any statements,” said Scott Sundquist, DEA supervisory special agent on-scene.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice could not be reached for comment, but DEA Spokesman Brian McNeal confirmed Balgo’s practices were the subject of the action.

“There was a scheduled (search) warrant for Dr. Balgo,” he said. McNeal said this was a regional effort by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force involving multiple agencies. “That’s a Department of Justice effort.”

McNeal said three different locations were searched. He said there were no warrants executed and no arrests made.

Belmont County Commissioner Josh Meyer said the commissioners had no comment.

“Everything we’ve had’s kind of been a little bit of hearsay,” he said, adding that the county prosecutor has been notified and will determine if the commissioners would have any role in appointing a new coroner should it be necessary. “We’re going to kind of wait to see how things play out.”

Tessie Pollock, spokeswoman for the Ohio Medical Board, said Balgo’s license remains valid and his past record clean.

“I am not showing any past board action on his license, however Ohio law would not allow me to disclose if there is a current complaint or investigation against one of our licensees,” she said, adding that being convicted of a crime could mean a sanction to a doctor’s license. “As the medical board, we have certain authority to take action against our licensees. Felony convictions are certainly one of these.”

In 2017, Balgo donated $2,500 to the Belmont County Staying Clean Club to encourage youth to stay away from drugs. He also gave $2,500 to the Belmont County Drug Task Force.

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