Judge sentences ‘drug dealer with medical license’ to prison for 4 years


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (KT) – A Kentucky doctor described as a “drug dealer with a medical license” has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Greg N. Stivers imposed the 50-month sentence with no chance for probation on Friday against Dr. Roy D. Reynolds of Franklin.

Reynolds had been convicted of 15 counts of
illegal distribution of controlled substances by way of prescribing opiate pain medications outside of the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

“What this conviction is not,” said U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman, “is targeting of a physician who prescribed opioids in the course of professional practice and for a legitimate medical purpose. It is, however, sending a doctor to federal prison who became a drug dealer with a medical license. Our commonwealth is blessed with many ethical and responsible medical practitioners; Roy Reynolds is not one of those.”

Prosecutors said Reynolds prescribed oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax to patients without a legitimate medical purpose. One of his patients died from an overdose. Some of the others had medical histories of mental illness, doctor-shopping, and additional risk factors for opiate abuse and addiction.


One former patient, the prosecutors said, had five drug overdoses while under Reynolds’s care, yet he continued to prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines after each overdose.

From 2010 through 2012, the period of illegal activity covered at trial, Reynolds was among the top 2 percent of all Kentucky doctors for oxycodone prescriptions, the top 5 percent for hydrocodone prescriptions, and the top 4 percent for benzodiazepine prescriptions. 

In 2011, Reynolds prescribed 130, oxycodone pill in 2011 and 2012s, more than 100,000 more than any other doctor in Simpson County.

In February of 2013, Reynolds lost his DEA license to prescribe opiate pain medications. However, during the first five weeks of that year, Reynolds prescribed more opiate pain medications than any other Simpson County physician prescribed for the entire year.

In 2016, there were 989 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Kentucky—a rate of 23.6 deaths per 100,000 persons and nearly double the national rate. Since 2012, overdose deaths related to heroin have increased from 143 to 311 and deaths related to synthetic opioids have increased from 70 to 465.


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