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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ronald Randolf Johnson Sentenced For Obtaining Oxycodone By Deception

The United States Attorney's Office announced that on April 24, 2014, RONALD RANDOLF JOHNSON was sentenced to a year in prison and a year of supervised release by Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon. Johnson, of Couer d'Alene, Idaho, was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to obtaining Oxycodone, a potent pain killer available only by prescription, by deception. In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Whittaker, told the Court that on September 10, 2010 and on October 3, 2011, Johnson signed an Agreement and Consent for Controlled Medication Therapy for Chronic Pain with Dr. Deborah Kern at Community Health Partners in Bozeman, Montana. In that agreement, he agreed that he would only use one provider to prescribe controlled substance(s). He further agreed that he would not request any pain medications or controlled substance from other providers. And, that he would inform any other health care provider that he was taking controlled substance(s) from Dr. Kern. Johnson further represented that his date of birth was 4/10/1959. Based upon Johnson's representations, he was able to obtain prescriptions from Dr. Kern for Oxycodone. Johnson deceived Dr. Kern because he was in fact seeing other physicians from whom he was also obtaining Oxycodone and the birthdate, a common method of verifying patient identity, was a fake.

Upon learning that Johnson had not been truthful about his treatment with other physicians, and that he had been prescribed narcotics from other physicians, Dr. Kern terminated her care of Johnson and on August 15, 2012, sent Johnson a letter stating, "This letter is to inform you that I will no longer be able to prescribe narcotics for you for your chronic pain effective today. It has come to my attention that you are on a pain contract with a provider in Idaho for narcotics as well."

Johnson made similar misrepresentations to pharmacies in order to obtain large quantities of Oxycodone. For example, on September 27, 2012, at a pharmacy in Liberty Lake, Washington, Johnson attempted to fill a prescription for Oxycodone from Dr. Heidi Kallestad. When Johnson went to fill the prescription he was asked by the pharmacist to verify his date of birth. Johnson verbally stated that his date of birth was 4/10/1959. This date of birth was different than the date the pharmacy had on record for him. When asked for identification he provided an Idaho license which had a crease down the center and the date of birth had been punched out by what looked like a sharp object. Local law enforcement was called and Johnson was arrested.

Using a correct and truthful date of birth is critical when filling prescriptions because it is one method used by physicians, pharmacies, and law enforcement to detect fraudulent prescriptions and to prevent patients from obtaining a greater amount of a controlled substance than they would otherwise be entitled. Furthermore, Johnson did not notify any of the physicians that he was being treated by any other physicians or that he was already receiving a controlled substance from a separate/different physician. During the period of time charged in the indictment, Johnson fraudulently obtained prescriptions for more than 13,000 pills of Oxycodone through his deception, fraud, and misrepresentations made to physicians and/or pharmacies.

Updated January 14, 2015