Kauai doctor indicted anew over drugs
A federal grand jury indicted a Kaua'i physician on new charges Thursday for allegedly prescribing drugs to patients he had never personally examined.
Harold C. Spear III of Hanapepe was indicted on 20 counts of distributing controlled substances "outside the usual course of professional practice" and "not for a legitimate medical purpose."
Included in the indictment were charges made previously in a criminal complaint that led to Spear's arrest on June 1.
Substances identified in the indictment included Oxycontin, Oxycondone and Methadone.
Spear's attorney complained after the arrest that authorities were prosecuting Spear based on their interpretation of the law, rather than on a strict reading of the law.
Attorney Michael Green said "there is no criminal statute that defines what constitutes 'legitimate medical purpose,' " and that there is no definition that says Spear could not prescribe drugs after conducting examinations by telephone.
Spear faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted and a fine of up to $1 million for each of the 20 counts.
As a condition of his release while the charges are pending, Spear surrendered his federal license to prescribe controlled substances, U.S. Attorney for Hawai'i Ed Kubo said.