Doctor pleads in oxycodone case | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Doctor pleads in oxycodone case

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 4:49 PM

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer announced today that Dr. Richard Duane Johns, 49, of Little Rock had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

He was responsible, a news release said, for illegally distributing 39,000 pills worth more than $1 million on the street.

Johns, charged with 18 others in a 2015 indictment, pleaded guilty to one count and will be sentenced later. He agreed to forfeit $155,620 in cash and a Ford F250 truck. Further forfeits are possible.

According to the release:

The conspiracy primarily operated in Lonoke, White, and Pulaski counties. On May 18, 2015, the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office took Dr. Johns into custody charging him with 187 counts of violating the Arkansas controlled substances act, a class C state felony. The federal indictment later charged Dr. Johns and 18 others in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Dr. Johns was charged in six additional counts of illegal distribution of oxycodone which have been dismissed by the United States as part of the plea agreement.

This investigation began in November 2014 when Lonoke County Sheriff’s detectives responded to an opioid overdose death of an individual outside Cabot. The Sheriff’s Office solicited the assistance of the DEA, and the agencies began a joint investigation to determine the source of the oxycodone which led to the overdose. The investigation determined that 187 fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone written by Dr. Johns had been filled and distributed since July 2014 in Lonoke County alone. The
prescriptions totaled approximately 16,830 oxycodone pills with a street value of $504,900. A total of 38 individuals associated with Dr. Johns were charged with violating the Arkansas controlled substances act in Lonoke County Circuit Court. To date, 17 of those individuals have entered guilty pleas.
Johns wrote prescriptions without examining people in names provided by co-conspirators. He sold the prescriptions for $500 each. After they were filled, the conspirators sold pills for $30 each. Trials are still scheduled for some defendants.

The case was part of the DEA's Operation Piluted, which investigated illegal pharmaceutical business in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Circuit court charge filed against Ten Commandments monument destroyer

    The Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office filed a direct charge in circuit court today against Michael Tate Reed, who's been held in the county jail since he was arrested June 28 after driving over and demolishing the day-old Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Whatever secret bill Senate considers, winners and losers are the same

    The U.S. Senate seems likely to vote Tuesday on a secret health bill. Whatever version is rolled out — and if Sen. John McCain's doctor approves a fly-in so he may vote — the outcome is the same. Bad for working poor and previously sick; good for rich people.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Two shot in home on W. 19th

    KARK reports that a 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were found with gunshot wounds when police responded to a house in the 4200 block of W. 19th.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016
  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation