Feds arrest Arkansas physician for over-prescribing opioids, controlled substances

TEXARKANA, Ark. (edited news release) -- Duane Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and Justin King, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker was arrested today on federal charges.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Dr. Parker on nine counts of prescribing without a legitimate medical purpose outside the scope of a professional practice.

According to the Indictment, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and Diversion Groups initiated an investigation into Dr. Parker of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018 after receiving complaints from local law enforcement about a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient. Investigators analyzed prescription drug monitoring data attributed to Dr. Parker, and the investigation revealed Dr. Parker was an over-prescriber of controlled substances, to include opiates, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup in the Texarkana area. Investigators say in the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opiates, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to approximately 1,508 patients (approximately 847 dosage units per patient). Dr. Parker also prescribed approximately 16 gallons of Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup to approximately 29 patients during the same time period. These prescriptions included several prescriptions written in combination with narcotics and sedatives to high diversion risk patients.

Other agencies participating in the investigation are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Texarkana Police Department, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS). Special Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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