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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Federal Jury Convicts Pembroke Medical Doctor for Unlawfully Distributing Oxycodone

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced today that, DONOVAN DAVE DIXON, 51 of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was convicted after a four-day jury trial before Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III.  The jury found DIXON, who was a licensed medical doctor at the time of the offense, guilty of Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Oxycodone and twenty (20) counts of Unlawful Distribution of Oxycodone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

The evidence at trial showed that DIXON was a licensed medical doctor who operated a family medical practice in Pembroke, NC from 2012 until April 6, 2015, when his ability to prescribe controlled substances was limited by the North Carolina Medical Board.  The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad based in Charlotte began investigating DIXON when they noticed that four (4) of the top ten (10) oxycodone prescribing pharmacies for the State of North Carolina were located in the Lumberton, NC area.  The local pharmacists as well as local and state law enforcement identified DIXON as the likely cause.

At trial, the evidence showed that DIXON prescribed high strength, high dosage amounts of oxycodone with little or no medical examination.   Multiple witnesses testified that they had never even met DIXON despite the fact that hundreds of prescriptions had been issued in their name.  A local drug dealer testified that DIXON wrote prescriptions for oxycodone in the name of persons that he provided to DIXON in exchange for cash.  The prescription drugs were then sold on the streets of Robeson County by the drug dealer. 

DIXON is scheduled to be sentenced the week of July 23, 2018.

Mr. Higdon stated:  “The United States Department of Justice is aggressively moving against all individuals who illegally distribute opioids and prescription drugs.  Whether those illegally pushing these drugs are on the street or operating from a doctor’s office, we will pursue you, charge you and convict you for the crimes that are putting our citizens at risk.”

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad.  Assistance was also provided by the State Bureau of Investigation, Diversion and Environmental Crime Unit, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fayetteville Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Cameron represented the government in this case. 

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Updated April 17, 2018