A former Cabell County doctor is going to prison for violating federal drug control laws.
Dr. Anita Dawson, 55, of Milton, was sentenced to two years in prison Monday for aiding and abetting the illegal acquisition of prescription drugs by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge.
The sentence is four times the maximum sentence recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, which called for a sentence of zero to six months.
Back in July, Dawson plead guilty to the charge and admitted to writing prescriptions for addictive pain medications to an individual identified by the initials E.B. from July 2006 to May 21, 2009.
She further admitted to prescribing a total of nearly 6,000 pills containing oxycodone and more than 220 pills for the painkiller Endocet.
Dawson told United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers that she knew, at the time of prescribing the pills, E.B. was only asking for the pills for an addiction and other inappropriate reasons.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Chambers’ ruling made a strong point.
“This woman’s behavior is shocking and this case should send a clear message to other doctors who abuse their prescription power,” said Goodwin.
In April 2010, the West Virginia Board of Osteopathy suspended Dawson’s medical license, on the same day federal and state investigators executed a search warrant at her Milton office.
Dawson permanently gave up her license in September 2010.
During Monday’s sentencing, Judge Chambers noted that Dawson caused or contributed to nine drug overdose deaths, as well as a car crash that killed a Barboursville woman and two teenage girls.
Dawson was not taken to prison Monday, but was told she will be notified on when to report to federal prison.