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Press Release

North Texas Pill Mill Owner Sentenced For His Role in a Drug Distribution Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

DALLAS — Stanley James, Jr., 57, of Dallas and Houston, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 60 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in May 2016 to a drug distribution conspiracy stemming from his operation of several “pill mills” in north Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

James pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance (hydrocodone).  He has been in custody since the time of his arrest in October 2015.  

Co-defendant John Christopher Ware, a/k/a “Little Chris,” 45, formerly of Dallas but now residing in Houston, also pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2018.

“These pill mills are a significant driver in the opioid crisis in this country and in north Texas,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.  “They must be shut down and those running them must be held responsible.”


According to plea documents in the case, James and co-conspirators distributed more than 2,000,000 hydrocodone pills through medical clinics in Dallas, Texas and elsewhere.  James owned and managed these clinics, and operated them illegitimately, knowing that the prescriptions for these pills had not been issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a medical practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice.  The hydrocodone quantities encompass the prescriptions issued by the doctors, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses who worked at the clinics that James owned, managed, and directed. 


A pill mill is a facility that appears to be a medical clinic but in reality distributes large quantities of controlled substances, such as hydrocodone, to the public without regard for medical necessity or therapeutic benefit to the patient.  Despite employment of licensed medical practitioners, a pill mill does not operate as a legitimate medical clinic because the controlled-substance prescriptions that are issued are done so with the knowledge that they are not for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice.


According to plea documents in the case, James and Ware owned and operated Great Southwest Medical Clinic on Great Southwest Parkway in Dallas; Arlington Oaks Adult Medical Clinic on Billings Street in Arlington, Texas; and Redbird Family Medical Clinic on Camp Wisdom Road in Dallas.   James and Ware owned and operated these three medical clinics under an umbrella company, J.C. Rapha Medical Management Group, LLC.


James operated in the following manner at each of the above-identified clinics: The driver, sometimes also known as a “script ring leader,” or another co-conspirator such as someone associated with the clinic, coached the recruit on what to say inside the clinic to obtain a prescription for hydrocodone.  The driver or script ring leader paid for the recruit’s visit to the clinic, either by giving the recruit money to pay the clinic or by paying the clinic directly. The clinics only accepted cash from patients seeking pain medications, including hydrocodone, and charged approximately $150 per visit for established patients. 


James took steps to minimize the possibility of detection by law enforcement at the pill mills, including limiting patients to recruits accompanied by known and trusted drivers. James attempted to maximize profit by providing the prescriptions sought by the script ring leaders, including 10mg hydrocodone. To accomplish this, medical practitioners were hired who were willing to write the sought-after prescriptions even though the prescriptions were not being issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice.


The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myria Boehm, Mary Walters and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Bunch prosecuted.

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Lisa Slimak

Updated March 21, 2018

Drug Trafficking