Doctors and Others Indicted For Illegal Drug Prescription Resulting in Deaths

Doctors and Others Indicted For Illegal Drug Prescription Resulting in Deaths

DENVER – Dr. John Alan Littleford, and three others were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver last week on charges related to the illegal distribution of prescription medication and money laundering, U.S. Attorney John Walsh, DEA Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Boyd announced. Littleford had a medical practice in Parker, and was arrested today in Kansas. As alleged in the indictment at least two patients who received drugs from Littleford died as a result. Dianna L. Smithling was arrested in Michigan. Stanley G. Callas and Scott Alan Eskanos were arrested this morning in Douglas County. All of these defendants will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court today, where they will be advised of the charges pending against them as well as their rights.

According to the indictment, Dr. John Alan Littleford, DO, 70, currently of Manhattan, Kansas, owned and operated the Pain & Injury Clinic which was located in Parker, Colorado. Dianna L. Smithling, 39, currently of Grand Blanc, Michigan was the office manager at the Pain & Injury Clinic from approximately July 2011 to approximately November 2012. Stanley (“Stan”) G. Callas, 63, of Parker, Colorado and Scott Alan Eskanos, 61, of Parker, Colorado are the co-owners of Crown Point Pharmacy, located in Parker, Colorado, and Sky Ridge Pharmacy, located in Lone Tree, Colorado.

According to court records, beginning on or about April 1, 2010, and continuing to on or about November 9, 2012, defendants Dr. Littleford, in conjunction with co-conspirators Smithling, Callas, and Eskanos and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly conspired and agreed to work interdependently to dispense and distribute, or facilitate the dispensing and distribution of controlled substances to patients at times and in circumstances outside the usual course of professional medical practice, and for a purpose other than legitimate medical purpose.

More specifically, the defendants are alleged to have dispensed and distributed controlled substances to individuals in quantities and dosages that would enable the individuals to abuse, misuse, and develop or maintain dependencies or addictions to controlled substances. Littleford routinely wrote new prescriptions for opioids when the individuals for whom he was writing the prescriptions should have still had opioids left from a prior prescription, if they had been taking the opioids according to Littleford’s dosing instructions. Callas and Eskanos knowingly filled these “early refill” prescriptions written by Littleford. The indictment specifically alleges unlawful distribution of controlled substances to seven individuals who presented as patients at the Pain & Injury Clinic and filled their prescriptions at Crown Point Pharmacy, Sky Ridge Pharmacy, or both. The indictment alleges that Littleford’s unlawful distribution of Oxycodone to two of the individuals resulted in their respective deaths. Finally, the indictment alleges the defendants committed money laundering with the intent to promote the carrying on of their unlawful distribution of controlled substances.

During the course of the conspiracy, Dr. Littleford allegedly prescribed drugs such as: oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, meperidine, amphetamines, carisoprodol, alprazolam, diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, temazepam, and zolpidem to patients without determining a sufficient medical necessity for the prescription of these controlled substances. In concert with his co-conspirators, the doctor dispensed and distributed these drugs to patients in quantities and dosages that would allow patients to abuse, misuse, and become addicted to them, while failing to adequately address the misuse and abuse of the prescribed controlled substances by patients.

Littleford is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute or dispense a schedule II controlled substance (punishable up to 20 years); two counts of distribution of a schedule II controlled substance from which death results (punishable by not less than 20 years to life per count); twenty one counts of distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance and aiding and abetting the same (punishable up to 20 years per count); one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering (punishable up to 20 years); and four counts of money laundering using illegal proceeds to promote illegal activity (punishable up to 20 years per count). Littleford’s co-defendants face a variety of the charges listed above.

“As the allegations in this indictment set forth, abuse of prescription authority for pain-killing opioid medicines can lead to suffering and death,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with DEA, IRS and our state and local partners to address the epidemic of prescription drug diversion and abuse that is having such a terrible impact on Coloradans.”

“The prescription drug problem in Colorado and the U.S., specifically opioid drug abuse, is at epidemic proportions”, stated Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “Those in special positions of trust and responsibility in our community, such as our medical professionals, must be held accountable when they cross the line into criminal behavior for their own profit.”

“Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem and IRS CI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners. We use our financial expertise to follow the money and seize assets from their ill-gotten gains,” said Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter McNeilly.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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