Dr. Robert A. Wiemer, 72, of Stephensville, Texas, was recently indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Mississippi, charging him with fifty-one (51) counts of distributing and dispensing controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice, one (1) count of conspiracy to do the same, six (6) counts of money laundering, and one (1) count of maintaining a premises for the purpose of illegally distributing controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Derryle Smith.
Wiemer was arrested by agents this morning and appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker in Gulfport this afternoon for his arraignment on the charges.
“Physicians who violate our criminal laws by illegally dispensing dangerous drugs to our colleagues, neighbors and families are literally destroying lives and contributing to the opioid epidemic. One of the primary ways to reverse the opioid crisis is to prosecute those who illegally distribute prescription narcotics. Our office will continue to protect the public by pursuing and prosecuting doctors and others who seek to profit off addiction and the misery of others,” said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
“It is disheartening when trusted medical professionals like Dr. Robert Wiemer are charged with engaging in the diversion of controlled substances,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Derryle Smith. “Doctors have an obligation to ensure that medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients. The arrest of Dr. Wiemer is the result of DEA’s continued commitment to hold accountable those who participate in illegally dispensing pharmaceuticals in our communities.”
According to the indictment, Dr. Wiemer was writing prescriptions for opiate pain killers, benzodiazepenes, and carisoprodol without a legitimate medical purpose outside the scope of professional practice. The indictment further alleges that he was laundering the funds derived from his illegal business.
The defendant is scheduled for trial on March 11, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden in Gulfport.
The maximum penalty varies by count from not more than five years to not more than twenty years per count in prison and between a $250,000 fine and $1,000,000 fine per count.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation and seeks to forfeit any proceeds and property involved in or traceable to the criminal activity and any and all property used to facilitate the unlawful activity, if convicted.
The public is reminded that a criminal indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. It is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.