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Press Release

Area Doctor, Patient Recruiter Charged in a $17 Million Illegal Opioid Distribution Conspiracy

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

DETROIT - An indictment was unsealed today charging a physician and a patient recruiter with conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription drugs, and other opioid-related charges, U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison announced today.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division.

Charged in the indictment are John Kirkpatrick, 83 of Birmingham, MI and Roland Williams (age) of Detroit, MI.

The Indictment alleges from May 2018 through March 2021, Dr. John Kirkpatrick conspired with Roland Williams and others to issue a significant number of prescription opioids outside the scope of medical practice to recruited “patients” who did not have a legitimate medical need for the drugs.  Dr. Kirkpatrick operated Southfield Medical Services in Southfield, MI. Dr. Kirkpatrick only accepted cash at his clinic, and utilized the clinic to prescribe oxycodone and oxymorphone, two of the most addictive and diverted opioids that have a significant street value.

As alleged in the indictment, Dr. Kirkpatrick required each “patient” to have certain records in a patient file before he would write a controlled substance prescription. Roland Williams and others created fraudulent medical records, including MRI reports and Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) reports, to give the appearance of legitimacy.

As further alleged in the indictment, Dr. Kirkpatrick authorized electronic prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances, which were issued under Dr. Kirkpatrick’s DEA license and without a medical evaluation by him. During the conspiracy, Dr. Kirkpatrick prescribed more than 574,604 dosage units of Schedule II controlled substances, with a conservative street value of more than 17 million dollars. 

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alison A. Furtaw and Brandy R. McMillion. The Eastern District of Michigan is one of the twelve districts included in the Opioid Fraud Abuse and Detection Unit, a Department of Justice initiative created by Attorney General Sessions, that uses data to target and prosecute individuals that are contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 28, 2022