Starkville Academy interim baseball coach and former Major League Baseball draftee Shane Bazzell was weeks away from being arrested on drug charges when he was picked up Jan. 15 by the Lowndes County Sheriff”s Office.
Bazzell, 30, of 801 Remunda Drive in Columbus, was arrested on charges of grand larceny for allegedly stealing a four-wheeler. He had been under investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for a year for acquiring a controlled substance by fraud.
Mike Perkins, lieutenant colonel of enforcement with the MBN, reports Bazzell visited 13 doctors in Pontotoc, Chickasaw, Lowndes, Union and Clay counties over the past year to acquire Adderall.
Adderall is prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy and severe obesity and has been associated with amphetamine abuse.
Health Canada in 2005 suspended marketing of Adderall products due to concern about reports of sudden unexplained death in children taking Adderall and Adderall XR, according to the FDA Web site. It has since returned to the market.
Through falsifying documents, Bazzell acquired 11,070 pills. Perkins says the investigation remains ongoing, and Bazzell may face additional charges.
A doctor from an undisclosed county became suspicious of Bazzell and alerted the authorities. Patients are required by law to notify doctors of other health care professionals from whom they are receiving care. Falsifying disclosure documents is considered forgery.
Perkins reports the initial investigation into Bazzell was reaching its conclusion when he was arrested by the LCSO. Bazzell was indicted Feb. 18, 2009, in Chickasaw County. The MBN had listed him as a wanted person and planned to arrest him soon.
The investigation into Bazzell lasted a year while courts subpoenaed medical records from the doctors Bazzell was seeing. Those doctors then had their attorneys review the subpoenas to ensure providing the information would not violate HIPAA — Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act — laws.
Bazzell was released Thursday from the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center on a $2,500 bond and transferred to the Chickasaw County Jail. His court date on the grand larceny charge is May 10 in Lowndes County Circuit Court. He”ll likely appear before a Chickasaw County Circuit Court judge within the next week to be assigned a bond for the drug charges, a court date and an attorney if he hasn”t retained legal representation.
The grand larceny charge carries a potential sentence of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Prescription fraud carries a potential five years imprisonment with a $1,000 fine.
Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substances; those with medical use but a high potential for addiction.
Bazzell was suspended indefinitely by Starkville Academy Jan. 17 after school officials learned of his arrest. The school released a statement from Headmaster Doc Stephens stating, “As would be the case with any employee, he will be suspended indefinitely until definitive information is acquired.”
Bazzell was drafted 465th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 1998 MLB draft. He pitched nine seasons of professional baseball, including seven in the Oakland Athletics organization and two more with the Texas Rangers.
He played baseball at New Hope High School from 1993-98 and helped the Trojans win state titles in 1996 and 1998. New Hope went 43-0 in 1996.
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