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Press Release

Oak Ridge, Tennessee Doctor and Boca Raton, Florida Pain Clinic Owner Sentenced for Oxycodone Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

LONDON, Ky. – Timothy Dennis Gowder, 72, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Anwar Mithavayani, 56, of Boca Raton, Florida, were sentenced to lengthy terms in federal prison by United States District Judge Robert E. Wier for conspiring to distribute oxycodone and other drugs, and for money laundering.  Gowder received a sentence of 21 years of imprisonment.  Mithavayani received a sentence of 25 years of imprisonment. 

Gowder was the medical director at the Tennessee Pain Institute (TPI), a pain clinic that operated from 2011 to 2016 near Chattanooga.  Mithavayani was a co-owner of the clinic with Pete Tyndale. After a month-long trial earlier this year, a jury convicted Gowder, Mithavayani, and Tyndale of operating TPI as a pill mill, and for money laundering related to proceeds from TPI.  The three men were responsible for the illicit distribution of more than 1.6 million oxycodone 30mg pills, and hundreds of thousands of other narcotic pills and sedative pills, such as Xanax.  Approximately half of TPI’s pill customers were traveling from eastern Kentucky.  

Under federal law, Gowder and Mithavayani each must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon release, both will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years.  The Court also imposed a fine of $250,000 and a community restitution award of $200,000 upon Gowder.  Mithavayani must pay a $500,000 fine and a $400,000 community restitution award.

Co-defendants Tyndale and James Bradley Combs will be sentenced later this month.  Co-defendant Larry Karr of Keavy, KY, pled guilty to the drug trafficking charge in May of 2018, and was later sentenced to 108 months in prison.

“The sentences imposed reflect the seriousness of the harm caused by the defendants’ unlawful and medically unnecessary distribution of controlled substances,” said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr.  “The defendants’ callous actions undoubtedly contributed to the current opioid crisis.  We remain resolute in our commitment to hold accountable drug traffickers who profit from addiction, including those who illegally deal drugs under the guise of medical care.”    

U.S. Attorney Duncan, Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Matthew Line of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Andy Beshear, Kentucky Attorney General, and Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner of Kentucky State Police jointly announced the sentences.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the IRS, and the Kentucky Attorney’s General Office as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Rosenberg.  

Updated August 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs