Former Gadsden Pharmacist and City School Board Member Sentenced for Drug Distribution Conspiracy and Tax Crimes
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A former Gadsden-area pharmacist and city school board member was sentenced yesterday for drug distribution conspiracy and tax crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Demetrius D. Hardeman of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
U.S. District Court Judge R. David Proctor sentenced Nathan Thomas Carter, 41, of Gadsden, to 54 months in prison. In July, Carter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and three counts of filing false tax returns. Carter was also ordered to forfeit $110,620 in illicit drug proceeds and pay restitution to the IRS of $124,547 in unpaid taxes.
“The abuse of prescription drugs remains a significant problem in our communities. DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to target those who illegally distribute these potentially dangerous drugs," said Byerley. "It is particularly disappointing when trusted medical professionals engage in the diversion of controlled substances. We hope the conviction and sentencing of Nathan Carter serves as a warning to anyone thinking of illegally diverting pharmaceuticals that you will be held accountable for the potential harm caused by your actions."
According to the plea agreement, between 2015 and late 2021, Carter conspired with others to distribute controlled substances including oxycodone and hydrocodone. Between February 2018 and 2023, Carter worked as the pharmacist in charge at Midtown Pharmacy in Gadsden. Records reflect that Midtown Pharmacy ordered at least 80,000 more oxycodone pills than the pharmacy dispensed to patients. Carter diverted opioid pills from the pharmacy and sold those pills to other drug distributors. He regularly took distributor bottles from his pharmacy to his house, where he repackaged the pills in plastic bags for resale. Carter admitted to earning about $450,000 in illicit income, which he failed to report on his income tax returns. According to the plea agreement, during the execution of a search warrant at Carter’ house, authorities found more than $110,000 in cash.
The FBI, DEA, and IRS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward prosecuted the case.
DEA is committed to making sure patients can get the care they need in the event a doctor or medical facility is unable to provide treatment due to enforcement action against the medical provider. To support continuity of care, DEA notifies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Opioid Rapid Response Program as part of an interagency, federal effort to help mitigate overdose risks among patients who lose access to a prescriber of opioids, medications for opioid use disorder, or other controlled substances.