Sumter Doctor Sentenced for Illegal Distribution of Oxycontin
DEC 17 -- Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney W. WALTER WILKINS stated today that DR. GEORGE CALHOUN AYCOCK, JR., age 59, of Sumter, South Carolina was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Columbia for Unlawful Distribution of OxyContin, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). Senior United States District Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr., of Columbia, sentenced AYCOCK to twelve months and one day imprisonment, of which he will likely serve ten-and-a-half months. Prosecutors requested a higher sentence; however, the Court found the year-long sentence to be appropriate largely on the basis of AYCOCK’s family background, personal history, and status as a medical doctor.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing and during the sentencing established that AYCOCK was a pain management physician who last practiced in Sumter. Previously, he worked in Tennessee. From April 2007 until July 2008, patients regularly traveled five hours from Greeneville, Tennessee, to Sumter to receive Schedule II painkillers. Often, these individuals’ regular physicians had declined to continue to provide them with narcotics. AYCOCK’s examinations were perfunctory. His prescribing habits were consistently high, and he made no effort to treat the pain with lower level narcotics. He did not follow his pain protocol, and when patients exhibited drug seeking behaviors, he ignored those behaviors and continued to prescribe the medications. These individuals received on a monthly basis prescriptions for several drugs, including OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone, and Klonopin.
As such, prosecutors argued that he was acting outside the scope of the legitimate practice of medicine.
AYCOCK has had his ability to prescribe medications revoked by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In a court filing the day before sentencing, AYCOCK agreed to “relinquish forevermore his right to practice medicine in South Carolina,” which was reiterated during sentencing.
The case was investigated by the DEA. Assistant United States Attorney Winston D. Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office handled the case.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.