Memphis, TN – Larry Egan Boatwright, 57, of Germantown, TN was sentenced to 188 months in prison for illegally distributing narcotics, announced United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.
“Mr. Boatwright abused his position of trust as a licensed pharmacist by illegally providing massive amounts of prescription drugs that were distributed throughout our community,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “This successful prosecution and the court’s sentence today should serve as a clear reminder that such conduct will be aggressively prosecuted, and that no one is above the law.”
According to the superseding indictment in the case, Boatwright was a licensed pharmacist working at the Boatwright Drug Company in Millington, Tennessee, and Super Drugs in Savannah, Tennessee at the time the charged crimes were committed. The indictment charged Boatwright with engaging “in a scheme to dispense controlled substances out of these locations to persons without valid prescriptions, including Schedule II and IV substances.” Counts 1, 4 and 7, respectively, charged Boatwright with distributing hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance, oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). Each of the three counts charged that Boatwright made the unlawful distributions while “acting outside the scope of professional practice.” Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, controlled substances are drugs that have an accepted medical use and may not be dispensed without a valid prescription from a medical professional. The law identifies controlled substances as drugs that have a potential for abuse which may lead to psychological or physical dependence. In particular, the Controlled Substances Act recognizes that Schedule II controlled substances have “a high potential for abuse.” The Schedule II and III controlled substances charged in this case, hydrocodone and oxycodone, are prescription pain relievers.
At the conclusion of Boatwright’s three-day trial, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict as to all three counts on October 3, 2012. U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland sentenced Boatwright to 60 months imprisonment for Count one; 188 months imprisonment for Count four; and 36 months imprisonment for Count seven; all to be served concurrently. There is no parole in the federal system.
In addition to the prison sentence, Boatwright was also fined $5,000 and ordered to serve a total of three years of supervised release.
As a result of his conviction on the three counts, Boatwright is also required to forfeit his interests in property obtained from the proceeds of his crime. This includes more than $33,000 in cash and bank funds, real estate located at 2132 Woodside Drive, Germantown, Tennessee, and a pair of automobiles.
“Americans rely on medical professionals, including pharmacists, to use their training to help patients and to ‘do no harm.’ This individual violated the law and betrayed his responsibilities to his profession, the DEA, and most importantly to the public he pledged to serve,” said DEA Memphis Resident Agent-in-Charge Brian Chambers. “The moment he decided to illegally distribute drugs, he became nothing more than a drug trafficker. DEA is committed to stopping unscrupulous medical professionals like him from harming patients.”
The case was investigated by Sergeant Dennis Brunson of the Millington Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force Officer George Stauffer of DEA’s Memphis Task Force, and DEA Diversion Investigators Justin Wood, Heather Wehrle and Rhonda Phillips. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joe Murphy and Leetra Harris of the United States Attorney’s Office in Memphis.