DOCTORS ON TRIAL AS DRUG VENDORS.
Witnesses Testify They Purchased "Dope" From U. S. G. and J. H. Hughes.
The hearing of witnesses for the prosecution in the case of the Dr. J. H. and U. S. G. Hughes, charged with selling drugs illegally, took up the time of the session of the state board of health at the Waterworks building yesterday. The large number of witnesses introduced by the state made necessary the continuance of the hearing to this morning at 10 o'clock.
Jay M. Lee, assistant city counselor, interrogated the witnesses for the state and Milton J. Oldham for the defense. Testimony was introduced in an attempt to prove that habitual users were sold drugs without any effort being made to cure them of the habit.
To Mr. Lee's questioning, all the witnesses stated that they had received narcotics in practically any quantity they desired without accompanying treatment and without any sort of physical examination.
An interesting trio of witnesses were Mrs. Virginia West, Virginia O'Neil and her mother, a Mrs. Burrows, said to be entered on the records of the Hughes brothers' books as Clara Young. All testified visiting the doctors' office. The daughter went to obtain drugs, the mother to protest against the sale of drugs to her and Mrs. West as an aid to the mother.
Mrs. West said that in order to find out if the daughter did obtain drugs there she implied that she herself was a "dope fiend" and asked if Clara Young obtained drugs at taht office. She said that she was answered in the affirmative by Dr. J. H. Hughes. At the protest of Mrs. Burrows against supplying her daughter with drugs, Mrs. West said that the doctors threatened them with arrest if they made trouble and put them out of the office.
Mrs. West indignantly denied that she herself had ever used drugs.
Jim Williams, a negro, who is under indictment in the federal court as a "dope" vendor, testified that he applied to the doctors in question to be cured. He was charged $5 for two bottles, one containing morphine and the other cocaine, he said. He testified that he at first used six bottles a week and later when told by the doctors that "he had too much on the books" and had to reduce, he was sold but four bottles a week. He was arrested the latter part of February and is now being held in the county jail.
Mr. and Mrs. William Purcell both told of applying for the treatment and being told by Dr. J. H. Hughes that the cost would be $100, payable in installments of from $2 to $5. Of each $5, Mrs. Purcell said, $2 was for the treatment and $3 was for a bottle each of morphine and cocaine. For every additional "patient" brought a $1 rebate was allowed, they declared. Mrs. Purcell said that once when she had no money she pledged a diamond ring with Dr. J. H. Hughes for the "dope."
In each case the witnesses testified that they received the treatment under fictitious names. Many of them were long time drug users. One man, J. H. Barnes, testified to having been a drug user for twenty-seven years. Practically all of the witnesses have been taken either to the reformatory or the city hospital for treatment.