Physician Assistant Convicted of Distributing Over 1.2 Million Opioid Pills | OPA

A Texas health practitioner assistant was convicted now for distributing additional than 1.2 million opioid supplements during his employment at two Houston-spot clinics that operated as capsule mills.   

According to courtroom files and evidence offered at trial, medical doctor assistant Charles Thompson, 76, of Houston, illegally approved and assisted other individuals illegally prescribe controlled substances to persons posing as individuals at West Parker Health-related Clinic (West Parker) and Priority Wellness Clinic (Precedence Wellness).    

Trial evidence confirmed that from June 2015 as a result of July 2016, although at West Parker, Thompson served a health practitioner unlawfully prescribe hydrocodone and carisoprodol, a combination of managed substances regarded as the “Las Vegas Cocktail,” to 1000’s of individuals posing as patients. Thompson himself also issued illegal prescriptions for carisoprodol (a muscle relaxant). So-known as “runners” brought various men and women to pose as sufferers at West Parker and compensated the clinic approximately $220 to $500 in hard cash for each individual pay a visit to that resulted in prescriptions for dangerous medication. All through the plan, West Parker manufactured about $1.75 million from prescriptions, from which Thompson was paid out more than $208,000. A jury previously convicted James Pierre, the physician who labored at West Parker, of unlawfully prescribing around one particular million opioid tablets.

Court docket paperwork and demo proof also present that Thompson aided other people illegally prescribe managed substances, including hydrocodone and oxycodone, at Priority Wellness from May perhaps to July 2017, which opened in December 2016 soon after West Parker closed. Demo evidence showed that Precedence Wellness operated as a capsule mill, in a comparable method to West Parker: runners introduced people today posing as sufferers to Priority Wellness and paid out the clinic between $300 and $600, depending on whether the purported client was finding a prescription for hydrocodone or oxycodone, pretty much always recommended in blend with carisoprodol. All over the scheme, Priority Wellness manufactured about $1.1 million and Thompson designed between $700 and $900 for every day in funds.

Thompson was convicted of just one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and seven counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing managed substances in relationship with his conduct at West Parker. He was convicted of a single rely of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense managed substances and a single rely of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances in relationship with his perform at Priority Wellness. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3 and faces up to 20 years in prison for every single depend of conviction. A federal district court decide will decide any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Recommendations and other statutory factors.

To day, 6 folks have pleaded guilty in connection with their perform at West Parker or Priority Wellness.

Assistant Legal professional Basic Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Felony Division U.S. Lawyer Jennifer Lowery for the Southern District of Texas and Specific Agent in Demand Daniel C. Comeaux of the DEA’s Houston Division created the announcement.

DEA Houston investigated the case.

Assistant Chief Aleza Remis and Demo Legal professional Maryam Adeyola of the Prison Division’s Fraud Part and Trial Attorney John-Alex Romano of the Legal Division’s Human Rights and Distinctive Prosecutions Part are prosecuting the circumstance. Assistant U.S. Legal professional Jon Muschenheim for the Southern District of Texas is handling forfeiture.