SHERMAN, Texas – U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced that a Denton physician has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Stanley Charles Evans, 63, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and health care fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak.
“Evans gives other physicians a bad name,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Sworn not to harm, Evans failed by illegally prescribing narcotics that harmed many people. As a result, more people die by opioid drug abuse than vehicle and gun-related deaths in the U.S. today. It is a big problem, and those who are supposed to heal the sick, but choose to become illegal drug dealers, will be investigated and prosecuted.”
According to information presented in court, beginning in 2017, Evans, a licensed physician operating a family medicine practice in Denton, unlawfully prescribed approximately 370,000 dosage units of hydrocodone outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. An investigation began after reports that Evans was pre-signing opioid prescriptions for patients exhibiting drug-seeking behavior. Evans would pre-sign the scripts, and one of his four nurse practitioners would see the patients.
An investigation revealed patients repeatedly obtained the most potent prescription for Hydrocodone from Evans and one of his nurses without ever being thoroughly examined or providing any documentation regarding their “pain.” Authorities also determined that Evans was only present at the office approximately half the time he claimed and that prescriptions for Schedule II opioids were being written for patients even while Evans was out of the country on vacation. The investigation also revealed that nurses saw 20 to 30 patients daily, and their salaries were production based, receiving a percentage of what they billed instead of a set salary. Additionally, nurses were billing Medicare and TriCare under Evans’ medical identification number, resulting in an increased government charge for physician services.
In all, Evans faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the court will determine the sentencing based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will come after completing a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Task Force Group, Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Services, and Health and Human Services–Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Johnson is prosecuting this case.