In May, a judge sentenced two doctors and a nurse to federal prison for trafficking opioids and other prescription drugs. The sentences were handed down in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
In one case, a 58-year-old male doctor was accused of writing prescriptions out of his clinics in Sherman and Paris for no legitimate medical reason. The prescriptions were for medications like alprazolam, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone and zolpidem. On July 15, 2014, the defendant wrote prescriptions for alprazolam, morphine, oxycodone and zolpidem to a patient. On July 25, 2014, that patient overdosed and died. Between 2010 and 2017, six other patients may also have died after receiving illegal prescriptions from the defendant. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of health care fraud. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In another case, a doctor and a registered nurse were accused of conspiring to distribute large amounts of alprazolam, amphetamine salts, hydrocodone, oxycodone and promethazine with codeine for no legitimate medical reason at their Richardson clinic. The doctor, a 64-year-old male, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and dispense drugs without a medical need and sentenced to 20 years in prison. His wife was convicted of the same offense and sentenced to 188 months in prison.
With the help of a criminal defense attorney, individuals charged with felony drug crimes might be able to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors. In some cases, this could lead to a reduction of charges, which may help the defendant obtain a more lenient sentence.
Source: CBS DFW, "2 North Texas Doctors, 1 Nurse Sentenced For Federal Drug Trafficking Violations", May 9, 2019