Wasilla Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegal Distribution of Narcotics
ANCHORAGE – A Wasilla, Alaska, medical doctor pleaded guilty to illegally dispensing and distributing controlled substances to patients in his medical practice at the Camelot Family Health clinic where he specialized in family medicine and pain management.
According to court documents, David Chisholm, 64, illegally prescribed his patients thousands of pills of highly addictive controlled substances, including oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, hydromorphone and buprenorphine. An extensive undercover investigation revealed that Chisholm routinely distributed the controlled substances without administering a medical exam and without a legitimate medical purpose. The investigation also found that Chisholm’s prescription of these controlled substances was one of the significant contributing factors in the accidental deaths of five patients.
“An Alaska medical doctor who swore an oath to do no harm, instead spread the scourge of addiction in our communities by writing bogus prescriptions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska. “This office will spare no effort in combatting the illegal distribution of addictive drugs and hold medical professionals like the defendant accountable for their actions.”
“Dr. Chisholm’s irresponsible prescribing habits are an abuse of his medical license and endangered our citizens while continuing to fuel the opioid epidemic that is a clear and present danger to our nation’s health and security,” said Frank A. Tarentino III, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Physicians like Dr. Chisholm who used his position to traffic opioids is really a drug trafficker with a prescription pad and he must be held responsible for his reckless prescribing practices. We will continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in the opioid and overdose prevention awareness campaign and relentless pursuit of all those involved in the trafficking of opioids.”
Chisholm’s plea agreement requires that he surrender his Alaska State medical license.
Chisholm will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, up to $1,000,000 fine and three years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Alaska State Board of Pharmacy are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Schroeder is prosecuting the case.