Houston physician convicted for unlawfully prescribing over $1M worth in opioid pills

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Sunday, March 27, 2022
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston doctor was convicted on Friday for unlawfully prescribing more than $1 million worth in opioid hydrocodone pills, according to officials.

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James Pierre, 52, unlawfully prescribed pills from June 2015 through July 2016 to people posing as patients at West Parker Medical Clinic, a pill-mill clinic located in Houston, court documents show.

Pierre, along with his physician assistant, issued unlawful prescriptions for hydrocodone and carisoprodol, a combination of controlled substances known as the "Las Vegas Cocktail," to hundreds of people, according to trial evidence.

So-called "runners" brought numerous people to pose as patients at West Parker and paid about $220 to $500 in cash for each visit in exchange for prescriptions, investigators said.

Throughout the scheme, West Parker made approximately $1,750,000 from prescriptions, and over $300,000 went to Pierre, according to investigators.

Pierre is convicted of one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances and seven counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances.

Pierre is scheduled to be sentenced on June 27 and faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.

To date, one co-conspirator has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances, officials said.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery for the Southern District of Texas; and Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the DEA's Houston Division made the announcement.

DEA Houston investigated the case.