Va. dentist pleads guilty to drug distribution

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Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 1:36 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 30 at 6:43 AM

TAZEWELL, Va. (AP) — A Tazewell County dentist faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally distributing pain killers.

Peter M. Francisco could also face fines of up to $750,000 during his sentencing, which is set for Feb. 23.

The 57-year-old dentist pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to three counts of illegal distribution of hydrocodone.

U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said in a news release that Francisco wrote illegal prescriptions for more than 10,000 pills between 2000 and 2009.

Heaphy said the prescriptions were issued to three people who filled them and then returned the pills to Francisco for his own use.

Francisco has agreed to surrender his privileges to prescribe controlled substances.

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Information from: Bluefield Daily Telegraph, http://www.bdtonline.com

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