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Justice News

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Staunton Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegal Prescribing of Narcotics

Dr. Stanley Heatwole Prescribed Controlled Substances to Woman Outside of Professional Practice

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – A Staunton physician practicing in Lexington at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital Emergency Department pled guilty today to a federal drug distribution charge United States Attorney John P. Fishwick, Jr., announced.

Stanley Elmer Heatwole, 73, of Staunton, Virginia, waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty this morning to an Information charging him with one count of distribution of controlled substances.

“This defendant used his position as a physician to write prescriptions for narcotics to persons he knew to have drug addictions as part of his inappropriate sexual relationships with his patients,” United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “This defendant’s prescriptions issued outside of his professional practice is drug dealing by an individual who believed the rules didn’t apply to him. As today’s conviction clearly shows, the rules apply to everyone equally.”                                                                                                        

From 2009 to 2014, Stanley Elmer Heatwole wrote controlled substance prescriptions, specifically hydrocodone, to a female patient with whom he had an intimate relationship.  These prescriptions were not for a legitimate medical purpose and were outside the usual course of professional practice.  In 2014, his license to practice medicine was suspended.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Tactical Diversion Squad of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated November 4, 2016