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.
- The Juneau Assembly has appointed Dr. Bob Urata and Lance Stevens to the nine-member Bartlett Regional Hospital board. Urata is a physician with a longtime practice. Stevens is a former president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.
- Recent heavy snow accumulation is pushing moose onto Alaska roads increasing collision danger. When snow piles up, you’re more likely to encounter moose on roads.
- The Juneau Access Project envisions 50 more miles of road up Lynn Canal to a ferry terminal closer to the road system. It has divided the Juneau community for decades and faces significant opposition from other southeast cities including Haines and Skagway. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pulled the plug on the $574 million project last month.
- The Juneau Assembly heard more than 90 minutes of testimony from dozens of residents including merchants, social workers and homeless people themselves who all agreed on one thing: Juneau has a serious homeless problem. But speakers had radically different viewpoints.