- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas doctor has pleaded guilty to a federal charge that accused him of fraudulently prescribing painkillers to people who then resold them.

Dr. Richard Johns pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone without an effective prescription. U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer described Johns as “nothing more than a common drug dealer,” noting that Johns was responsible for illegally distributing at least 39,000 pain pills with a street value of more than $1 million.

Prosecutors alleged that Johns wrote prescriptions for pain pills without examining or, in some cases, never meeting the patient. As part of the plea deal, Johns did not take responsibility for the death of a Cabot man whose overdose prompted the investigation.

Johns will be sentenced at a later date.

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