Texarkana Doctor Found Guilty of Overprescribing Opioids


Texarkana Doctor Found Guilty of Overprescribing Opioids
A file photo of Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker (Danny Johnston) (Danny Johnston)

A federal jury on Friday convicted a Texarkana doctor of overprescribing opioids.

The Texarkana jury convicted Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker, 58, of two counts of distribution of a schedule II controlled substance without an effective prescription and two misdemeanor counts of distribution of a schedule V controlled substance without an effective prescription, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas.

One of the three felony counts Parker faced had a death enhancement related to a death of a patient. The jury found Parker wasn’t responsible for the patient's death.

The jury also found Parker not guilty of another felony for intentionally distributing oxycodone to another patient.

“We are gratified that the jury saw it our way on some of the counts, and disappointed they didn't see it our way on the remainder of counts,” said one of Parker’s attorney’s, Jeffrey Rosenzweig of Little Rock.

In 2018, law enforcement officials began investigating Parker after complaints surfaced over a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient, the news release said.

“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 opioids, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup in the Texarkana area,” the news release said.

In the two-year period analyzed, Parker prescribed about 1.2 million dosage units of opioid pain medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl, to 1,508 patients. Parker also prescribed about 16 gallons of promethazine with codeine cough syrup to 29 patients during that period, the release said. The prescriptions included narcotics written in combination with sedatives, creating a high risk of addiction and overdose to patients, the news release said.

Parker will be sentenced at a later date and faces up to 20 years in prison.

“There are some important legal issues in the case, and I would expect it’s more likely than not that we will appeal,” Rosenzweig said.


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