WICHITA, KAN. – A former Wichita area physician who is serving time on supervised release for a drug conviction has been arrested and charged with a federal firearms violation, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Lawrence M. Simons, 57, Wichita, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. An investigator’s affidavit alleges that on April 17, 2013, Simons possessed a .32 caliber pistol that he gave to a bail bondsman as partial payment for bonding him out of jail.
In January, 2010, Simons, a former employee of the Schneider Medical Clinic in Haysville, Kan., was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison to be followed by three years on supervised release after he pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance. In his plea, he admitted he prescribed fentanyl and that the prescriptions were not issued for a legitimate medical purpose or made in the usual course of medical practice because the person who received the prescription was not his patient.
An affidavit supporting the firearm charge alleges that in April 2013 an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives learned that Simons had given a pistol to Steven Woodin, proprietor of S&F Bail Bonds in Wichita. Simons owed Woodin for bonding him out of jail on a $25,000 bond in a Sedgwick County District Court case involving a charge of making a criminal threat.
Under federal law, convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms.
If convicted, Simons faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.