Memphis Doctor Sentenced to 262 Months
for Writing Illegal Prescriptions
Memphis, TN - On August 5, 2010, United States Court District Judge Samuel H. Mays sentenced Daniel Fearnow, 58 of Cordova, to 262 months incarceration for writing illegal prescriptions, announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
Fearnow previously pled guilty to a twelve count indictment that charged him with drug trafficking violations.
According to statements made at the guilty plea hearing and the sentencing hearing, Fearnow was licensed as a medical doctor and operated his medical practice at the Wickman Family Medical Center, located in Cordova, Tennessee. From 2007 until October 2009, Fearnow conspired with others to unlawfully distribute and did in fact unlawfully distribute Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances by issuing written prescriptions for drugs outside the normal course of practice and for no legitimate medical purpose. Fearnow illegally wrote and sold prescriptions on several occasions for Oxycodone, Lortab, Alparzolam (Xanax), and various cough syrups that contain codeine or promethazine. Federal regulations prohibit prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances when not in the normal course of treatment.
According to courtroom testimony and other court documents, over the course of the three years, Fearnow unlawfully distributed over 25,000 illegal prescriptions for controlled substances, of which over 500 prescriptions were for the highly addictive Schedule II controlled substance, Oxycontin. The evidence revealed that Fearnow knowingly sold illegal prescriptions to drug dealers, who then sold the prescriptions to others, or had the prescriptions filled at pharmacies in the Western District of Tennessee, and pharmacies located in Nashville, Tennessee, Paris, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. The dealers would then sell the narcotics on the street. At times Fearnow saw as many as 30 to 40 patients a day, of which at least 70 percent were merely customers who were there to buy illegal prescriptions.
According to the investigation, one female who was arrested during this investigation, advised that she had been selling prescriptions narcotics for over six months and on average would sell 180 to 360 Oxycontin per week at a price of $24.50 per pill and 200 to 300 Hydrocodone per week at a price for $7 per pill. She purchased the prescriptions from Fearnow. Fearnow is responsible for distributing over one million units of controlled substances.
United States Attorney Lawrence J. Laurenzi stated, “This prosecution and sentence should serve as a deterrent to others engaged in similar behavior. Drug dealers will be prosecuted, whether they serve their poison from street corners, or from doctors’ offices.”
At least twelve other people have been charged federally in connection with this drug conspiracy. This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Greg Gilluly.
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