The West Philadelphia abortionist charged in January with eight counts of murder faces additional charges, this time leveled by the federal government.

Kermit Gosnell, 70, was accused by prosecutors today of running a "pill mill" out of his squalid offices at the Women's Medical Society clinic.

A grand jury report described Gosnell's clinic as a "charnel house" where late-term pregnancies were ended and newborns were killed using scissors to sever spinal cords.

Gosnell, who faces a possible death sentence, was accused in that report of causing the 2009 death of a Virginia woman undergoing an abortion at the clinic.

Federal prosecutors today said Gosnell - with the assistance of his staff - also illegally dispensed addictive painkillers, sedatives, and prescription cough syrup with no legitimate medical purchase.

It was a lucrative sideline to his grisly abortion practice. Drug enforcement agents testified to a grand jury that Gosnell took payments to write prescriptions for nearly a half-million oxycodone tablets, 400,000 doses of Xanax, and 19,000 ounces of codeine-infused cough medicine to people he called drug "seekers." He allegedly grossed $200,000 from the operation.

Gosnell, who is in state custody, is charged in the 23-count indictment with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution and aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone, 10 counts of distributing oxycodone within 1,000 feet of a school, and related counts.

Yesterday, Gosnell's wife Pearl Gosnell, 50, pleaded to participating in an illegal late-term abortion, two counts of conspiracy, and being part of a corrupt organization. She will not have to testify against her husband when his case goes to trial on March 14, 2013.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com.

and three workers.