More Guilty Pleas Made in Richard Johns Pill Mill Case

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 20, 2017 12:00 am  

Clockwise from left: Richard Johns, Aron Scot Cochran and Marissa Scroggins

As expected, David Larue Scroggins of Cabot pleaded guilty last week to buying and reselling fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions from Richard Johns, the former Little Rock internist whose drug distribution business was the subject of a story in last week’s Arkansas Business.

His plea agreement with federal prosecutors suggests a guideline prison sentence of 11 to 14 years. His sentencing date has not yet been set, nor has Johns’.

It was at Scroggins home that his daughter Marissa’s boyfriend, Curtis Norris, 25, died of an oxycodone overdose in November 2014.

That death prompted the investigation that led to Johns, Scroggins and dozens of others.

Marissa Scroggins, 30, is scheduled to plead guilty on Wednesday.

Her brother, Christopher Scroggins, 37, pleaded guilty on the same day as their father. His plea agreement suggests a guideline sentence of between 30 and 37 months.

Since last week’s story was completed, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anne Gardner and John Ray White have lined up guilty pleas from the final three of the 18 co-defendants charged in federal court. Between the federal case and related cases in Lonoke and White counties, the number of convictions related to Johns’ fraudulent prescriptions will reach 55.

David Scroggins, 57, paid Johns — typically $500 each — for oxycodone prescriptions written for patients that Johns might never have met. Their arrangement, which centered on Lonoke County, lasted from June 2014 until May 2015.

Aron Cochran of Searcy, the middleman in the White County operation that began in 2011 or 2012, is scheduled for sentencing on April 7.



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