Wichita doctor gets life in prison for Illegally distributing prescription drugs

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A doctor in Wichita has been sentenced to life in prison for illegally distributing prescription drugs.

57-year-old Steven R. Henson was sentenced Friday, on multiple charges including: Conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside the course of medical practice and money laundering. 

Henson had operated the Kansas Men's Clinic at 3636 N. Ridge Road and was also licensed at the Wichita Men's clinic at 1861 North Rock Road, Suite 201. He stood trial in October.

“I want this case to send a message to physicians and the health care community. Unlawfully distributing opioids and other controlled substances is a federal crime that could end a medical career and send an offender to prison,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Evidence presented at the trial showed that Henson was "Giving dangerous, maximum strength opioid prescriptions to people who did not need them," and prescribing them in amounts that would likely lead to addiction.

Henson had filed a motion for acquittal but it was denied by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten who wrote: 

“The defendant kept no medical records, performed no physical examinations or physical tests, gave massive amounts of opioids to patients with little demonstrated need, wrote unneeded, non-controlled prescriptions in order to defeat pharmacy limits on controlled substances, and knew that patients were traveling improbably long distances to receive opioids. There was ample evidence that Henson was prescribing opioid medications in amounts likely to lead to addiction, and in amounts so expensive that the patients would likely be forced by economic circumstances to support their addiction by selling some of the drugs to others.”

“For any doctors, pharmacists or nurses who disregard their oath and distribute powerful drugs illegally to enrich themselves, the message today is that they will be prosecuted to the full extent allowed by federal law.” said McAllister.

The full list of charges includes:

  • Conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside the course of medical practice (Counts 1 and 2).

  • Unlawfully distributing oxycodone (Counts 3 through 14).

  • Unlawfully distributing oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam (Count 16)

  • Unlawfully distributing methadone and alprazolam, the use of which resulted in the death of a victim on July 24, 2015, identified in court records as N.M. (Count 17)

  • Presenting false patient records to investigators (Count 19)

  • Obstruction of justice (Count 20)

  •  Money laundering (Counts 26 through 31

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