West Texas doctor pleads guilty in drug case
MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A West Texas doctor faces at least 10 years in prison for writing fake prescriptions for hydrocodone and sometimes not even seeing those patients.
Investigators in Midland say Dr. Barrett Doyle Whitefield of Odessa pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distributing controlled substances.
No sentencing date was immediately set for Whitefield in cases since mid-2011. Investigators say Whitefield wrote prescriptions for hydrocodone to numerous individuals upon request — sometimes without examining them.
Prosecutors say Whitefield knew that several co-defendants were selling the hydrocodone pills in the Midland and Odessa areas. He also delivered methamphetamine to a person in Lamesa on orders from his co-defendants.
Four other people pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy counts and await sentencing. Three other suspects face trial.