FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - February 22, 2010
DOCTOR SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON
NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on February 18, 2010, Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced PERRY REESE, III, 51, to 240 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on April 2, 2008, charging REESE with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. On February 25, 2009, a federal jury found REESE guilty on all counts.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that the SBI had began its investigation of REESE, the owner and sole physician of Roseboro Urgent Care in Sampson County, North Carolina, in December, 2002, when a patient of REESE'S approached the SBI about the numerous prescriptions for Oxycontin and other drugs he had been purchasing from REESE. The patient was taking 30-35 Oxycontin pills each day and chewing them for a faster effect - all at the direction of REESE. The Government’s medical expert testified that these practices were not only illegal but endangered the life of the patient. Based on this information, the SBI conducted four controlled purchases from REESE. During the first purchase, on December 17, 2002, 45 Oxycontin pills were purchased from REESE. That same day, a prescription was purchased for Oxycontin with REESE. Then, in February, 2003 and April, 2003, two additional prescriptions were purchased for Oxycontin and Percocet from REESE. REESE conducted no medical examination and there was no pretense of medical treatment.
Several patients testified at trial. Evidence at trial showed that REESE wrote prescriptions without conducting a medical examination, without asking the witnesses questions about pain or treatment, and without attempting to treat the underlying illness or problem. For two patients the evidence also showed that REESE prescribed so many drugs, he also wrote prescriptions in the names of their friends and family members to hide the number of pills he was prescribing for each patient. REESE also met patients in parking lots and at gas stations. For all of these prescriptions, the patients paid a fee–often based on the number of pills in the prescription. In addition to purchasing prescriptions, one of the patients purchased Oxycontin pills as well. One patient testified that she paid REESE in cash, jewelry, and a generator for her prescriptions. These patients all became addicted to the pills they were receiving. Some of them even attended rehabilitation, but despite REESE’s knowledge of this, he continued to provide them unlimited amounts of Percocet and Oxycontin.
At sentencing, the Court found that REESE had illegally dispensed or distributed 174.165 grams of Oxycodone, the legal equivalent in the United States Sentencing Guidelines of 1,166 kilograms of Marijuana. The Court also found that REESE had abused a position of trust and used a minor in the commission of the crime. Finally, the Court found that REESE had committed perjury at trial.
Mr. Holding stated: “Physicians are given wide discretion to provide drugs to those with a medical need. When a physician abandons his or her role as doctor and dispenses drugs to anyone willing to pay money without any concern for medical need, that physician is no different than a street drug dealer. Physicians who violate the principles of their profession and endanger the lives of their patients deserve to be severely punished.”
Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon represented the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.