News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2010
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Hilton Head Doctor Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegal Drug Distribution

FEB 26 -- Columbia, South Carolina---- Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald and Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) announced, that Dr. Roger Hershline, age 54, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, was sentenced late yesterday in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for conspiring to illegally distribute oxycodone, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.  Senior United States District Judge Sol Blatt, Jr., sentenced Hershline to 41 months in federal prison.

In 2006 and 2007, Dr. Hershline began writing prescriptions for powerful painkillers without a legitimate medical purpose to addicts and dealers in Hilton Head and surrounding areas.  Users presented themselves as patients to his Hilton Head office, where Dr. Hershline wrote the prescriptions for them with little if any physical examination or considering medical history or legitimate need.  Word of Dr. Hershline’s willingness to write the prescriptions without question spread, resulting in additional users in the area making appointments to see him. 

Witnesses and records in the case revealed that Hershline also would sell his oxycodone prescriptions to the users for cash, or trade them for cocaine and marijuana for his own use.  During the two year period scrutinized by federal agents, Hershline was responsible for thousands of doses of oxycodone being illegally dispensed.   

The case was investigated by diversion investigators of the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Peter Phillips of the Charleston office handled the case.

SAC Benson of the DEA AFD 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.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov, which links directly to the Diversion Control and Prescription Drugs.

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