Physician assistant convicted of prescribing over 1 million opioids at Texas 'pill mills'

Medical assistant facing decades in prison over multiple counts.
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Pharmaceutical pills and capsules.
Pharmaceutical pills and capsules, SLOVENIA - 2020/02/24
(Milos Vujinovic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Justice Department this week announced that a physician's assistant had been convicted of prescribing more than one million opioid pills to patients at multiple clinics, with the convict facing decades behind bars over the crimes.

Seventy-six-year-old Houston resident Charles Thompson "distribut[ed] more than 1.2 million opioid pills during his employment at two Houston-area clinics that operated as pill mills," the Justice Department said in a press release on Friday

Over the course of a year starting in 2015, the DOJ said, Thompson "helped a doctor unlawfully prescribe hydrocodone and carisoprodol, a combination of controlled substances known as the 'Las Vegas Cocktail,' to thousands of individuals posing as patients." 

Thompson also "issued unlawful prescriptions for carisoprodol," a muscle relaxant, the department said. 

Individuals receiving the pills reportedly paid as much as $500 in cash for the fake prescriptions. Thompson's take from the scam was reportedly more than $200,000.

Thompson was convicted on 10 separate counts and "faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of conviction," the DOJ said. He is due for sentencing in October.