Catonsville Dentist Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison For Selling 140,000 Hydrocodone Pills to a Drug Dealer

January 24, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Dr. Kenneth Riley, age 49, of Catonsville, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison, followed by 10 months of home detention with electronic monitoring as part of three years of supervised release, for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute hydrocodone. Judge Bennett also entered an order of forfeiture of $157,350, the amount of proceeds from Dr. Riley’s drug dealing, and ordered Riley to pay a $25,000 fine.

The sentencing was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiGiulio, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“When somebody betrays the public trust, it is disappointing. In Dr. Riley’s situation it was also criminal. Hydrocodone is a scheduled substance because its abuse can lead to addiction, illness or even death. The sentence Dr. Riley received today should send a strong message to the medical field that this type of illegal conduct will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” stated Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Ava A. Cooper-Davis.

According to his guilty plea, from at least 2005 to May 2010, Dr. Riley illegally sold hydrocodone pills from his dental office, home and in other commercial locations in Baltimore County. A drug dealer arrested in 2010 told law enforcement that from 2005 to 2006 he bought 1,000 tablets every week from Dr. Riley for $1 a pill. In 2007, the drug dealer began buying an average of 500 pills a week for $1.30 a pill. The drug dealer bought less pills in part because he was unable to sell 1,000 pills a week.

Law enforcement arranged for the drug dealer to make four controlled purchases of hydrocodone from Dr. Riley in April and May of 2010, which occurred at Dr. Riley’s dental office and home, a grocery store parking lot and a library in Baltimore County. Dr. Riley was arrested in his car on June 3, 2010 while en route to meet the drug dealer to sell 1,000 of the pills. Law enforcement searched Dr. Riley’s home and seized another 2,000 pills.

The drug dealer stated that he bought a total of approximately 140,000 hydrocodone pills from Dr. Riley.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Tactical Diversion Squad of the DEA, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Department of Health and Human Services - OIG for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Mushtaq Gunja, who prosecuted the case.

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