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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

STEPHEN R. WIGGINTON UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

Nine Executive Drive, Fairview Heights, Illinois 62208 402 West Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812

For Immediate Release December 14, 2010 Public Information Officer FAUSA Randy G. M assey (618) 628-3700

JASPER COUNTY DOCTOR SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 13, 2010, REGINALD L. VERNIER, M.D., age 54, of Newton, Illinois, was sentenced to fourteen months’ imprisonment. VERNIER had previouslypled guiltyon August 26, 2010 to illegal distribution of Schedule II controlled substance Methadone and illegal distribution of Schedule IIIcontrolled substance Hydrocodone. The offenses involved prescriptions written outside the usual course of professional medical practice. The Court imposed the sentence of 14 months’ imprisonment on each count to be served concurrently. The Court also imposed three years’ supervised release following release from prison. In addition, the Court imposed a fine of $3,000 and a mandatory special assessment of $200. The defendant had surrendered his DEA registration to dispense controlled substances and his license to practice medicine prior to the imposition of the sentence.

This case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Illinois State Police, as part of the Project Dr. Feelgood investigations in the Southern District of Illinois. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Quinley and William E. Coonan handled the prosecution.

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