Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

September 18, 2018

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Former medical doctor sentenced to over three years prison for unlawfully prescribing oxycodone

SAN FRANCISCO – United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen announced that Christopher Owens was sentenced to 41 months in prison for unlawfully prescribing oxycodone hydrochloride without a medical purpose.

Owens pleaded guilty on March 20, 2018. According to his open plea application filed with the court, Owens, 50, of Indianapolis, Ind., was a medical doctor when he prescribed oxycodone hydrochloride, a Schedule II controlled substance, to an individual. Owens acknowledged he prescribed the drugs without a legitimate medical need and outside of the course of medical practice. On July 11, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Owens charging him with distributing oxycodone without a medical need. Owens has since lost his license to practice medicine. 

In sentencing Owens, Judge Alsup stated, “[Owens] was not running a pill mill,...but he was doing something just as bad...He used that prescription pad to feed a habit.” 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Alsup ordered Owens to serve three years of supervised release to begin after his prison term is completed and a $7,500 fine. Judge Alsup ordered Owens to surrender and begin serving his sentence on Dec. 3, 2018. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila A.G. Armbrust is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Linda Love.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA with assistance from the University of California San Francisco Police Department.

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