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story.lead_photo.caption Dr. Richard Johns - Photo by Lonoke County sheriff's office

A doctor from Little Rock has been arrested on dozens of charges tied to an investigation into drugs obtained through fraudulent prescriptions, authorities said.

Police began investigating Dr. Richard Johns in November after an overdose death that "was suspected to be connected to a fraudulent prescription from Dr. Johns," Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said in a news release.

"The sheriff’s office solicited the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Group and began a joint investigation into the doctor and the suspected criminal enterprise headed by the doctor," Staley wrote. "During the investigation, it has been determined that 187 fraudulent prescriptions have been filled and distributed within the illicit market in Lonoke County alone."

Police said the fraudulent prescriptions amounted to an estimated 16,830 Oxycodone pills.

Staley in the release called the investigation ongoing and that additional arrests are "expected in the near future." A woman who returned a message left for Staley said he would have no further comment on the arrest.

Johns faces 187 counts of fraudulent practices, a Class C felony. He was booked into the Lonoke County jail, where he was being held without bail Monday pending an initial court appearance Tuesday.


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  • FreeSpiritMan
    May 18, 2015 at 4:48 p.m.

    And they don't won't medical pot in Arkansas, but pain med OK. Way to go Jerry Cox.

  • cliffcarson
    May 18, 2015 at 8:35 p.m.

    Republicans on here like to disparage the poor as the Medicaid fraudsters. I keep saying that 99% of all Medicaid fraud dollars are stolen by the providers. This is just one example.

  • NoCrossNoCrown
    May 19, 2015 at 12:46 a.m.

    Maybe he too can claim that being a doctor left him with a sense of entitlement and influence that left him unable to know right from wrong...he suffers from.... "Medical Affulenza"

  • Delta2
    May 19, 2015 at 10:01 a.m.

    Cliffcarson, when you say "providers", do you mean just physicians, or do you include hospitals, home health agencies, DME suppliers, pharmacies, transportation companies, nursing homes, etc? If the latter, I might be inclined to agree to a certain point, but I would not put the number up at 99%. Can you quote a study or provide hard evidence?