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Press Release

Doctor Convicted of Unlawfully Distributing Opioids

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal jury in the Middle District of Tennessee convicted a medical doctor today for unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Bowdoin Smith, 67, of Carthage, Tennessee, unlawfully prescribed controlled substances, including opioids such as oxycodone and morphine. Smith, a doctor of osteopathy, owned and operated a general practice medical clinic in Carthage where he knowingly prescribed opioids outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. In 2012, the Tennessee Department of Health placed Smith’s medical license on probation for three years because he routinely prescribed greater amounts of controlled substances than were medically necessary for his patients. After the probation was lifted, Smith continued to write unlawful prescriptions between 2016 and 2019, regularly ignoring the signs of drug abuse and addiction in his patients.

The jury convicted Smith of three counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count. A sentencing date has not yet been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee, Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Louisville Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Tamala Miles of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Director David Rausch of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) made the announcement.

The DEA, HHS-OIG, and TBI investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Leslie Williams Fisher and Kelly Lyons of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force. Since its inception in late 2018, ARPO has partnered with federal and state law enforcement agencies and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia to prosecute medical professionals and others involved in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids. Over the past three years, ARPO has charged over 115 defendants collectively responsible for issuing prescriptions for over 115 million controlled substance pills. To date, more than 84 ARPO defendants have been convicted. More information can be found at

Updated July 26, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-817