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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Former Medical Doctor Sentenced To Over Three Years In Prison For Unlawfully Prescribing Oxycodone

SAN FRANCISCO – Christopher Owens was sentenced to 41 months in prison for unlawfully prescribing oxycodone hydrochloride without a medical purpose, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen.  The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable William Alsup, U.S. District Judge.

Owens pleaded guilty on March 20, 2018.  According to his open plea application filed with the court, Owens, 50, of Indianapolis, Ind., was a medical doctor when he prescribed oxycodone hydrochloride, a Schedule II controlled substance, to an individual.  Owens acknowledged he prescribed the drugs without a legitimate medical need and outside of the course of medical practice.  On July 11, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Owens charging him with distributing oxycodone without a medical need, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C).  .  Owens has since lost his license to practice medicine.

In sentencing Owens, Judge Alsup stated, “[Owens] was not running a pill mill, . . . but he was doing something just as bad . . ..  He used that prescription pad to feed a habit.”  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Alsup ordered Owens to serve three years of supervised release to begin after his prison term is completed and a $7,500 fine.  Judge Alsup ordered Owens to surrender and begin serving his sentence on December 3, 2018.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheila A.G. Armbrust is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Linda Love.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA with assistance from the University of California San Francisco Police Department. 
 

Updated September 18, 2018