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Physician sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking

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Judge sentences Kentucky physician to over four years in federal prison and a $25,000 fine for 15 counts of prescribing opiate pain medication outside of the course of medical practice.

 BOWLING GREEN – United States District Court Judge Greg N. Stivers sentenced Franklin, Kentucky, physician, Roy D. Reynolds, to federal prison for 50 months with no probation in the federal system on 15 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances by way of prescribing opiate pain medications outside of the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.

“What this conviction is not,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell “is targeting of a physician who prescribed opioids in the course of professional practice and for a legitimate medical purpose. It is, however, sending a doctor to federal prison who became a drug dealer with a medical license. Our Commonwealth is blessed with many ethical and responsible medical practitioners; Roy Reynolds is not one of those”

Roy D. Reynolds was a doctor practicing in Franklin, Kentucky, in Simpson County during the time of the illegal activity. Reynolds was treating patient Jackie Hughes at the time of his death; court records show Reynolds doubled Hughes’ prescription for oxycodone twice in his final five-months alive. Reynolds also prescribed oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax to an additional four patients without a legitimate medical purpose. Those patients had medical histories of mental illness, doctor-shopping, and additional risk factors for opiate abuse and addiction.

One former patient had five drug overdoses while under Reynolds’s care, yet he continued to prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines after each overdose.  Reynolds took his patient, Hughes, to a rock concert and saw that Hughes was high, and later admitted in a letter that “we reminisced this frequently . . . about how he was snowed the evening we went to Nashville.” Nonetheless, Dr. Reynolds continued prescribing opioids to Jackie Hughes until the patient died of an overdose.

From 2010 through 2012, the period of illegal activity covered at trial, Dr. Reynolds was in the top 2 percent of all Kentucky doctors for oxycodone prescriptions, the top 5 percent for hydrocodone prescriptions, and the top 4 percent for benzodiazepine prescriptions.  In 2011, Reynolds prescribed 132,372 oxycodone pills (second most prescribed oxycodone pills by a primary care physician in Simpson County was 9,765) and in 2012 Reynolds prescribed 139,667 pills (second most oxycodone pills prescribed by a primary care physician in Simpson County was 11,794). In February of 2013, Reynolds lost his DEA license to prescribe opiate pain medications. However, during the first five week period, Reynolds prescribed more opiate pain medications than any other Simpson County physician prescribed during 2013. Reynold was convicted April 23, 2018 on 15 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances by way of prescribing opiate pain medications outside of the course of professional medical practice following a nine day trial.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Weiser and Rob Bonar with assistance from paralegals Mary Kennedy and Jane Bauer, and was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Office of Inspector General, Division of Audits and Investigations, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practice Branch.