United States doctor sentenced to 40 years for opioid prescriptions
Friday, October 4, 2019
On Wednesday, a United States federal judge sentenced a doctor based in , Virginia to prison for 40 years for prescribing illegally, after prescribing over half a million doses. He was given a fine of US$86,000. Three years of supervision after release was also mandated.
Dr. Joel Smithers was found guilty in May on 859 counts of illegally distributing opioids. This included prescriptions for West Virginia woman's death. Prosecutors said Smithers gave out the prescriptions to patients from five different states, some driving to his office from hundreds of miles away, from 2015 to 2017. said Smithers "perpetuated, on a massive scale, the vicious cycle of addiction, despair, and destruction."and tied to a
Judge, presiding in the in , handed down the sentence. Mandatory sentencing called for at least 20 years in prison and up to life in prison. The judge recommended mental health treatments and a prison near his family, according to . Smithers, 36 years old, is married and has five children.
Smithers testified in his own defense, claiming some patients deceived him. He also filed in court his intent to appeal.
- AP. "Virginia doctor who prescribed more than 500,000 opioid doses sentenced to 40 years" — , October 3, 2019
- Bradford Betz. "Virginia doctor gets 40 years for prescribing 500K opioid pills" — , October 3, 2019
- Steve Almasy. "Virginia doctor who illegally prescribed 500,000 opioid pills sentenced to 40 years in prison" — , October 2, 2019