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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Former Bartlett Doctor Sentenced To 16 Years In Federal Prison For Illegal Distribution Of Prescription Narcotics

Memphis, TN - Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee; and Sheriff William Oldham, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, announced today that on July 15, 2014, Senior United States District Judge Jon Phipps McCalla sentenced Michael A. Patterson, formerly a medical doctor who had an office in Bartlett, Tennessee, to 16 years in federal prison for several violations of the Controlled Substance Act involving prescription narcotics.

In November of 2011, Patterson, who according to the indictment was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee, was indicted for a number of violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act involving narcotics. The indictment noted that Patterson practiced medicine under the trade name Bartlett Psychiatric Center, PC, at an office located on Kirby-Whitten Road in Bartlett, Tennessee. According to the indictment Patterson’s medical license was revoked on March 22, 2011 by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners pursuant to the terms of an Agreed Order.

Patterson subsequently pleaded guilty to Counts 2 and 37 of the indictment. He was charged in Count 2 with illegally distributing Oxycodone, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, by issuing a prescription “outside the usual course of medical practice and for no legitimate medical purpose,” in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). This section of the Controlled Substances Act makes it a crime to illegally distribute a controlled substance. Under federal law, Schedule II Controlled Substances are drugs that have a “high potential for abuse” and for which abuse “may lead to severe psychological of physical dependence.” Oxycodone is defined as a Schedule II Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Patterson was charged in Count 37 of the indictment with illegally distributing hydrocodone tablets by providing a person with a forged prescription in May 2011, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). Hydrocodone is defined as a Schedule III Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule III Controlled Substances are defined as drugs that have a potential for abuse, and the abuse of which may lead to “moderate physical dependence or high psychological dependence.”

In March of 2012, Patterson was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Mississippi and charged with violating the Controlled Substances Act. That case was transferred to Memphis and Patterson pleaded guilty to knowingly using a revoked registration number in order to dispense a prescription for a Schedule IV narcotic in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 843(a)(2).

In addition to the prison sentence, Senior United States District Judge Jon Phipps McCalla ordered Patterson to serve eight years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Licensed professionals who nefariously hide behind their titles and white jackets to illegally distribute prescription drugs are just as much ‘drug dealers’ as those who deal crack cocaine on our streets,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton. “The Court’s sentence should serve as a clear reminder that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.”

“Criminal activity of any kind will not be tolerated by those individuals who willingly choose to violate the law,” stated Sheriff Oldham. “We will continue to work closely with U.S. Attorney Stanton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies to make sure those who commit these crimes are off the streets.”

The case was investigated by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

Updated March 19, 2015