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Former Hope doctor convicted

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 10/30/22 7:32 PM

TEXARKANA – A federal jury convicted a Texarkana doctor last week on two counts of Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance Without an Effective Prescription and two counts of Distribution of a Schedule V Controlled Substance Without an Effective Prescription.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and Diversion Groups initiated an investigation into Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker, age 58, of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018 after receiving complaints from local law enforcement about a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient. Parker once had a practice in Hope.

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.  In the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opioid pain medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, 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 frame. The prescriptions included narcotics written in combination with sedatives, creating a high risk of addiction and overdose to patients.

Parker is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and Diversion Group, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Texarkana Police Department, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS).

Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner and Assistant United Sates Attorney Graham Jones prosecuted the case for the United States.