Sharon Naylor Sentenced For Her Role In Operating Pill Mill
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On November 2, 2023, Sharon Naylor, 58, of Junction City, Kentucky, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months and one day by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, United States District Judge, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.
As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Naylor waived an indictment by a Federal Grand Jury and agreed to plead guilty to an information charging her with one count of maintaining a drug premises, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856; Naylor also pleaded guilty to an indictment charging her with one count of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. Following her incarceration, Naylor will be on supervised release for one year. In addition, Naylor was also ordered to forfeit the proceeds of her crime, including approximately $1.9 million in real property, cash, gold and silver coins and bouillon, all of which were seized by the United States.
According to court documents, Naylor, a nurse practitioner, owned and managed a non-insurance, cash-equivalent pain clinic named Lafollette Wellness Center (LWC), in Campbell County, Tennessee. Naylor continued to own and operate LWC, despite knowing that the medical director, co-defendant Dr. Henry Babenco, and the physician’s assistant, co-defendant Alicia Taylor, were prescribing opioids to patients outside professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose.
Naylor, Babenco, Taylor, and LWC office manager, Gregory Madron, were charged with drug-related offenses as part of the April 2019 Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force Surge; Taylor pleaded guilty to her role in the distribution of controlled substances in May 2021, Madron pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense for his role in September 2023. Babenco died in a plane crash in February 2021. Madron and Taylor are scheduled to be sentenced in January and February 2024, respectively.
U.S. Attorney Francis. M. Hamilton III, of the Eastern District of Tennessee; Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Special Agent in Charge Joseph E. Carrico, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement.
The charges were the result of an investigation by the DEA, the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and assisted by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto of the Eastern District of Tennessee is prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Fraud Section Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force (ARPO) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Petro of the Middle District of Tennessee, formerly of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, provided valuable assistance.
Public Affairs Officer
Updated November 3, 2023