Cory L. Pickens Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on March 2, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CORY L. PICKENS, a 39-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. PICKENS was sentenced to a term of:
Probation: 3 years
Special Assessment: $100
PICKENS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to prescription fraud.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
PICKENS is a licensed Anesthesiologist practicing in Billings and a member of a physician group practice in Billings.
In November of 2009, several area pharmacists reported to law enforcement that questionable prescriptions for narcotics were being issued by PICKENS to at least six patients. The pharmacists reported they thought it was odd that an anesthesiologist was treating individual patients for pain. The individuals for whom the prescriptions were written were interviewed by law enforcement. The majority of the individuals interviewed had no idea PICKENS was writing them prescriptions for narcotics. One individual admitted he filled prescriptions written by PICKENS and shared the narcotics obtained with PICKENS.
Law enforcement also learned that numerous prescriptions were being written to three of the same patients allegedly by another physician. The other physician was contacted. The other physician confirmed he had no patients by the names on the prescriptions and that he had never written prescriptions to those individuals.
On November 2, 2009, PICKENS was questioned by the Billings Police Department as he attempted to fill one of the prescriptions, written in one of the previously identified individual's name and containing a forged signature of the other physician. PICKENS admitted he had forged the other physician's name on prescriptions to obtain narcotics.
From October of 2007 to November of 2009, PICKENS filled or had filled over 70 prescriptions for Oxycodone, Oxycontin and Hydrocodone for which there was no legitimate medical need and no legitimate doctor/patient relationship. PICKENS used the illegally obtained narcotics to support his opiate addiction.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that PICKENS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, PICKENS does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion and the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.