Pikeville, KY

Kentucky Physician and Nurse Convicted in Illicit Controlled Substance Prescription Conspiracy

Desiree Haros

Pikeville, KY - A federal jury in Pikeville, Kentucky, delivered a verdict late Thursday, convicting Dr. Crystal Compton, aged 43, and nurse Kayla Lambert, aged 36, of multiple charges related to an unlawful prescription drug distribution conspiracy. The convictions include 44 counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances for Dr. Compton.

The prosecution's case revealed that during the relevant period, Dr. Compton, a licensed physician practicing in various medical clinics in the Pikeville area, and Nurse Lambert, who also worked at these clinics, conspired to illegally distribute controlled substances. Their actions involved issuing prescriptions for significant quantities and dosages of opioid painkillers, including oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone, sometimes in combination with other controlled substances like alprazolam and clonazepam.

The evidence showcased alarming instances of excessive prescribing, with one patient receiving prescriptions for 720 methadone 10mg and 180 alprazolam 2mg pills within a single month. Another patient was prescribed 480 methadone 10mg and 300 oxycodone 10mg pills in a single month. Additionally, Dr. Compton provided multiple prescriptions to Nurse Lambert for 180 oxycodone 30mg pills. The evidence also revealed that Lambert sometimes issued illegitimate controlled substance prescriptions by signing Compton's name to them.

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

Compton and Lambert are scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2024. The charges carry substantial penalties, with a maximum sentence of 20 years for the drug trafficking conspiracy and individual counts of unlawful distribution of Schedule II controlled substances and five years for Schedule IV controlled substances. Conspiring to misuse a DEA registration carries a maximum penalty of 4 years. The sentencing, however, will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and applicable federal sentencing statutes.

In addition to potential prison terms, the defendants may also face fines, the forfeiture of their medical licenses, a forfeiture money judgment, and a judgment of restitution, as determined by the Court. The convictions highlight the serious consequences of illicitly distributing controlled substances and the commitment of law enforcement to combat the opioid epidemic.


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