TEXARKANA, AR – A federal jury yesterday convicted a Texarkana physician of two counts of dispensing a Schedule II controlled substance without an effective prescription and two counts of dispensing a Schedule V controlled substance without an effective prescription .
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), tactical diversion and diversionary groups have opened an investigation into Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker, 58, of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018 after receiving complaints from local law enforcement about a suspected pill mill and the possible death of a patient overdose. Investigators analyzed prescription drug monitoring data attributed to Dr. Parker, and the investigation revealed that Dr. Parker was an overprescriber of controlled substances, including opioids, benzodiazepines and promethazine along with cough syrup to codeine in the Texarkana area. During the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opioid pain relievers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, to approximately 1,508 patients (approximately 847 units doses per patient). Dr. Parker also prescribed about 16 gallons of promethazine with codeine cough syrup to about 29 patients during the same period. The prescriptions included narcotics written in combination with sedatives, creating a high risk of addiction and overdose for patients.
Parker is to be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release and financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
US Attorney David Clay Fowlkes made the announcement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and Diversion Group, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Texarkana Police Department, and United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS).
Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner and Assistant United States Attorney Graham Jones prosecuted the case for the United States.