Law Center - POSTED: 2009/09/10 14:36
An appeals court panel upheld on Wednesday the conviction of a pharmacist for conspiracy to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs through a Wichita-based Internet pharmacy.
But the panel from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver also threw out the conviction of a co-defendant who worked as a computer technician for Red Mesa Pharmacy.
Pharmacist Jerry Lovern and computer technician Robert Barron were convicted in February 2008 of one count of conspiracy and three counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances.
Prosecutors said Red Mesa Pharmacy distributed more than 9,200 orders between December 2005 and March 2006 for prescriptions approved by doctors who did not physically examine the buyers or have any communication with them. The prescriptions cited included Ambien, a controlled drug used for insomnia; and phentermine, a stimulant that is sometimes contained in prescription drugs used for weight loss.
Red Mesa's owner, Dr. Wilbur Hilst of Wewoka, Okla., is serving a 33-month sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs.