Home Washington Press Releases 2009 Culpepper Dentist Sentenced to 28 Months for Illegally Distributing Prescription Drugs

Culpepper Dentist Sentenced to 28 Months for Illegally Distributing Prescription Drugs

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2009
  • Eastern District of Virginia (703) 299-3700

ALEXANDRIA, VA—William J. King, a dentist from Culpepper, Va., was sentenced to 28 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in a conspiracy to illegally distribute oxycodone. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and to forfeit $150,000.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Antony J. Trenga.

“Providing prescription drugs to people who don’t need them is no different than distributing illegal street drugs,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “When abused, pain medications—particularly OxyContin—can be similar in their effect to heroin, and we have seen that as prescription drug abuse increases, so does heroin abuse. We’re committed to prosecuting those in the health care system who abuse their authority to traffic these extremely addictive pain killers.”

King, 61, pleaded guilty on Sept. 29, 2009, to a one count criminal information of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. According to court records, during 2006 and 2007, King regularly wrote, without any legitimate medical basis, prescriptions for OxyContin and other narcotic pain killers for a young woman with whom he was romantically involved. Court records indicate that, on one occasion, the young woman complained to King that she needed more OxyContin due to withdrawal symptoms. Though it was a Sunday and his office was closed, King wrote a prescription for OxyContin and drove the young woman to a pharmacy in Warrenton to immediately fill the prescription. The pharmacist became suspicious and contacted law enforcement, who questioned King about the legitimacy of the prescription.

Court records also indicate that King wrote a prescription for OxyContin in the name of a friend of the young woman so the drugs would be paid for by the friend’s insurance, and, on another occasion, King wrote a prescription for OxyContin to the young woman’s brother to pay for babysitting services. Court records further indicate that King also attempted to offset home construction costs based on prescriptions for OxyContin that he wrote to an employee of the young woman who worked on King’s house.

This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation (Operation “Cotton Candy”), which has been focusing on the illegal distribution by numerous doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and patients of pain medication, including the very potent, expensive, and widely-abused oxycodone, also known by the brand name of “OxyContin.” This OCDETF matter, which involves support from the FBI, DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Department of Defense (DOD), Virginia State Police, Internal Revenue Service, and Buchanan, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Tazewell, and Warren Counties, and Manassas City, Virginia, Police Departments, as well as numerous other state and local law enforcement in Virginia and elsewhere, has secured more than 170 drug-trafficking convictions and guilty pleas.

This specific case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance from the Fauquier County and Loudoun County Sheriff’s departments. This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Patrick A. McDade on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov.