Georgia Medical Examiner admits to trading painkillers for sex

ATLANTA, Georgia (WDEF) – A former county medical examiner and forensic pathologist pleads guilty to illegally distributing opioid painkillers.

73 year old Dr. Joseph L. Burton was exchanging the prescriptions for sex.

State regulators first noted early last year that the doctor was distributing a large number of prescriptions even though he didn’t run a clinic or see patients.

They say over a two year period, he doled out more than 100,000 doses of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone.

Seven other people were indicted in the scheme.

Three women from Acworth and Cartersville each had a sexual relationship with him in exchange for the drugs.

They then would sell them to others. Dr. Burton would sometimes give them blank prescriptions and tell them how to fill them out.

All three have pleaded guilty to conspiracy drug charges.

DEA investigator Robert Murphy said “In the wake of this country’s prescription opioid epidemic, DEA’s top priority is to investigate individuals like Dr. Burton who egregiously violate the law by illegally prescribing prescription opioids (66,000 oxycodone pills) in exchange for sexual favors. He prescribed these pills even though he was not regularly seeing patients or operating a medical facility. The community is now safer because of his prosecution.”

Categories: Regional News

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