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Press Release

Dentist Pleads Guilty to Running Oxycodone Conspiracy

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

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach dentist pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose.

“Unethical doctors have no place in our communities,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Hartman used his medical license to push highly addictive pills throughout our community, and deliberately used addicted close friends, other medical professionals, and impoverished patients to obtain these dangerous drugs. Let this prosecution stand as a warning to other medical professional who choose to engage in similar activity: We will not cease our efforts in bringing these types of pill-pushers to justice.”

According to court documents, Gary Hartman, 48, has been a licensed dentist in Virginia since 2002. From 2014 to 2018, Hartman was involved in an elaborate scheme to prescribe oxycodone pills for his personal use and the use of his co-conspirators, which fell into three different categories of individuals. The first category of co-conspirators were close friends of Hartman since high school. Hartman would write prescriptions for oxycodone to his friends without a legitimate medical purpose, the friends would fill the prescriptions, bring back most of the pills for Hartman’s personal use and keep the remainder for their personal use. The second category of co-conspirators was another dentist. Hartman and the other dentist would write prescriptions to each other for oxycodone and muscle relaxants for the personal use of Hartman and the other dentist. The third category of co-conspirators were people who were impoverished. Hartman would promise to perform free dental work on these individuals in exchange for the service of filling prescriptions of oxycodone pills written by Hartman and bringing the pills back to Hartman for his personal use. This conspiracy involved 766 prescriptions written for non-medical reasons and almost 40,000 oxycodone pills.

Hartman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on October 2. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Muhr and V. Kathleen Dougherty are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-48.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated May 10, 2019

Drug Trafficking