A judge has ruled that a doctor at a pain clinic in Maryville will need to spend 70 months behind bars for his part in providing drugs to patients back in 2010. He's 47 years old.
The prosecutors accused him of being a drug dealer, saying that he did not do proper examinations and just gave out prescription opiates -- thousands of them. They said that the people who came to Breakthrough Pain Therapy Center were the real victims, as many of them became addicted to drugs. The judge agreed, saying that the physician should have known the harm his actions were causing in the area.
The doctor is not the first to get sentenced for what happened at the clinic. The two owners had previously been arrested and imprisoned, and the authorities then began going after the doctors, saying they'd been part of a conspiracy to basically create an "opiate drug store."
This case is significant because those who wrote the prescriptions have not been charged in previous cases. It sets a precedent that could have an impact on all future cases of this nature. That began in 2014, when the first charges were leveled.
The man's legal team says he never wanted to break the law. They say he'd been fired as a doctor in an emergency room and was desperate for money to make ends meet, so he couldn't turn down the job.
The results of this case help solidify the precedent that began back in 2014, when the charges were brought. It's critical for anyone facing similar drug charges to know how this result could impact their own cases.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Judge hands Maryville pain clinic doctor 70-month sentence," Jamie Satterfield, Nov. 17, 2016