Las Vegas, NV — In a significant legal development, a federal jury in Las Vegas found Dr. William Alvear guilty on Tuesday of unlawfully distributing opioid pain medications, violating the Controlled Substances Act. The 68-year-old Las Vegas physician was convicted on three counts of distributing a Schedule II controlled substance (Hydrocodone) and five counts of distributing or dispensing a Schedule IV controlled substance (Alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax).
The prosecution, supported by court documents and trial evidence, demonstrated that Dr. Alvear distributed Hydrocodone without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice. Hydrocodone, classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, poses a high risk for abuse, leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Additionally, Dr. Alvear was found guilty of unlawfully distributing and dispensing Alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance with abuse potential and the capacity to induce psychological or physical dependence.
The six-day jury trial took place before U.S. District Judge Cristina D. Silva, who will preside over the sentencing phase. Dr. Alvear now faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, along with a fine of $1,000,000 and three years of supervised release. The final sentencing decision will be determined by the federal district court judge after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant statutory factors.
This conviction reflects the ongoing efforts to combat the illicit distribution of controlled substances, particularly in the context of the opioid epidemic. The case underscores the legal consequences faced by medical professionals who engage in the unlawful distribution of prescription medications. Dr. Alvear's sentencing will be closely monitored as it sets a precedent for the accountability of healthcare providers in combating substance abuse.