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Eastern Kentucky Doctor and Nurse Convicted of Conspiracy to Illicitly Prescribe Controlled Substances

PIKEVILLE, KY – A federal jury sitting in Pikeville convicted a Kentucky physician, Crystal Compton, D.O., 43, and a nurse, Kayla Lambert, 36, on late Thursday of conspiracy to illicitly prescribe controlled substances and related offenses.  Compton was also convicted of 44 counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances.  

During the relevant timeframe, Compton was a licensed physician who practiced in several medical clinics in the Pikeville area.  Lambert was a nurse who also worked at these medical clinics.

According to evidence presented, Compton and Lambert conspired to unlawfully distribute controlled substances using prescriptions that were not written for a legitimate medical purpose, within the usual course of professional practice.  Compton and Lambert issued prescriptions for significant quantities and dosages of opioid painkillers, including oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone, sometimes in combination with other controlled substances, such as alprazolam and clonazepam.  For example, one individual received prescriptions for 720 methadone 10mg and 180 alprazolam 2mg pills in a single month.  Another received prescriptions for 480 methadone 10mg and 300 oxycodone 10mg pills in a single month.  Compton also provided multiple prescriptions to Lambert for 180 oxycodone 30mg pills.  The evidence also established that Lambert sometimes issued illegitimate controlled substance prescriptions by signing Compton’s name to prescriptions.  

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge, DEA, Louisville Field Division, jointly announced the guilty verdict.

Compton and Lambert are scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2024.  The maximum penalty for the drug trafficking conspiracy and the individual counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances is 20 years, for Schedule II controlled substances, and five years, for Schedule IV controlled substances.  The maximum penalty for conspiring to misuse a DEA registration is 4 years.  However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.  The defendants also face potential fines, forfeiture of their licenses, a forfeiture money judgment, and a judgment of restitution, as ordered by the Court.

The case was investigated by the DEA.

The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Smith. 

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