Hearing set for dentist, pharmacist drug case

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — A preliminary hearing has been set for an Independence dentist and pharmacist involved in a drug investigation.

Nicolas Arduin, 31, and Dr. Gordon Miniclier, 58, will appear in Grayson County General District Court on Aug. 24 at 9:30 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.

Arduin, a former part-time pharmacist at Woody's Pharmacy in Independence, has been charged with obtaining drugs by fraud, a class 6 felony.

Miniclier, who operates a dental office at 150 West Main Street in Independence, was arrested June 4 after being charged with two counts of distributing a schedule II drug — reportedly Xanax and Hydrocodone — one count of distribution of a schedule IV drug — reportedly Percocet — and one count of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

The investigation — conducted by Nick White, a special agent with the Bureau of Drug Enforcement Services of the Virginia State Police — began after allegations that Arduin was embezzling controlled substances from his employer, Woody's Pharmacy.

Surveillance cameras were placed inside Woody's Pharmacy. The warrant states that on "several occasions," hand-to-hand transactions were observed between Arduin and Miniclier in the pharmacy.

Miniclier and Arduin were both taken to New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin. Miniclier posted a $7,500 bond, while Arduin posted a $2,500 bond.

Miniclier will be represented by Mike Barbour of Barbour & Simpkins in Dublin, and Arduin will be represented by Jonathon Venzie, an Independence attorney.

If the charges are certified by the General District Court in August, they will be presented to a grand jury — likely in October.

The grand jury will then decide whether to formally indict Miniclier and Arduin and send the cases to Grayson County Circuit Court for trial.