Opioid prosecutors continue to be focus of Southern District task force
Three defendants recently pled guilty, including two medical professionals
SAVANNAH, Ga. – Three people, including two medical professionals, are among defendants recently prosecuted in federal court as part of continued efforts to crack down on opioid abuse.
Lisa Marie Douthit, 42, a pharmacy technician at a Walgreen’s in Bryan County, was sentenced to three months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr., for stealing opioid pills oxycodone and hydrocodone from her employer, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby L. Christine.
In addition, Jamie Mays, 24, of Hinesville, Ga., a former medical assistant at a Bryan County pain clinic, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to stealing prescriptions for the opioids Percocet and oxycodone, and Reginald Eric Lee, 24, of Hinesville, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to stealing prescriptions for the opioids Percocet and oxycodone and to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute Percocet and oxycodone.
“The abuse of prescription drugs continues to be a major concern in America,” said DEA Atlanta Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy. “The abuse of a trusted medical profession will not be tolerated. As the nationwide trend toward non-medical use of prescription drugs swells, the need for an organized, immediate and effective response increases correspondingly. This is a perfect example of the success that can be accomplished when federal, state and local resources and subsequent prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office are combined to present a united front.”
“Opioid abuse is a crisis in our country and our community, and we are committed to targeting those individuals who divert those highly addictive drugs from their proper use,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “It is especially troubling when these illegal activities are facilitated by people who exploit their access to the healthcare system, and we will not tolerate it.”
These cases were investigated by the Opioid Task Force, which includes the DEA, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Chatham County Narcotics Team and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
“The recklessness and greed exhibited by these individuals put citizens at significant risk of addiction and death,” said FBI Atlanta Division Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker. “We will use every tool we have to stop criminals from exploiting the vulnerable by taking advantage of their professional access to these drugs.”
“We rely on the healthcare system and its professionals to aid us in fighting the war on the opioid crisis,” said Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team Director Everett Ragan. “I know the majority in the profession are doing that every day; however, we stand ready to arrest those who choose to further complicate this matter.”
If you have any information regarding healthcare fraud or illegal opioid diversion, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (912) 652-4422.
Assistant United States Attorneys J. Thomas Clarkson and Jonathan Porter prosecuted the cases for the United States.
The DEA 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. Also follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv.
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