A former Juneau resident who turned himself in to Unalaska police after being indicted on drug charges will spend the next year-and-a-half behind bars.
Robert Biddinger, 44, was sentenced Thursday in Juneau Superior Court.
He was originally charged with twenty-two felony counts related to scamming Juneau pharmacies out of vicodin prescriptions. Twenty counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance were dropped as part of a plea and sentence agreement with prosecutors.
His girlfriend, 29-year old Donya Owens, worked at a local dental practice and would phone in bogus prescriptions to feed his addiction. Last week, Owens was sentenced to serve a year in prison.
Biddinger turned himself in to Unalaska Police in January. Owens was arrested by troopers at the Ketchikan ferry terminal in February.
Biddinger, who identified himself as a former coach with the Juneau Youth Football League, said he was sorry and embarrassed. But he also said he was glad that he got picked up, and said he’s stayed clean for the last several months.
Biddinger, his defense attorney, and prosecutors described how he became addicted after a pair of shoulder surgeries and then more injuries suffered after falling out of a truck. He reportedly tried to contact his doctor to stop the prescriptions, but he became addicted after eighteen months. He described how phantom pains took over and then he said he lost control.
The remaining two charges against Biddinger were Class C felonies that include a maximum of two years in prison even with Biddinger’s previous conviction for driving while intoxicated. As part of the plea and sentence agreement with prosecutors, Biddinger was sentenced to two years in prison with one year suspended for each charge. Six months of each charge would be served concurrently for a total of a year-and-a-half to serve in prison. He’ll also be on probation for three years once he gets out.
- Polls show the presidential race is unusually tight in Alaska. Juneau residents attending two election events shared their opinions on the polls and the candidates.
- A new weather station installed on Mt. Ripinsky last month is now relaying data on weather conditions that could help hikers, climbers and skiers prepare for bad weather -- especially avalanches.
- Kids attending the Homer Folk School learn everything from making apple juice to building kayaks.
- Bethel has made more than a quarter of a million dollars from its 12 percent sales tax on alcohol since legal alcohol sales began in April.