A 52-year-old North Carolina doctor appeared before a federal judge in Charlotte Friday, accused of illegally prescribing and distributing an addictive drug mixture, prosecutors said.
Henry Emery Jr. lives in Waxhaw and practiced family medicine in Weddington, public records show.
He was still practicing medicine when he is accused of conspiring with other people to “unlawfully prescribe, dispense, and distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of buprenorphine,” according to an indictment unsealed after his court appearance.
Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved synthetic opioid used to treat pain and opioid use syndrome, according to the National Institutes of Health. The drug is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance because it can be addictive, federal health officials say.
Emery prescribed and distributed the mixture multiple times from September 2018 through last year, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors have not said what else the mixture contained.
Emery made his first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Rodriguez on Friday on a charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside the bounds of professional medical practice and 11 counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the bounds of professional medical practice, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney Dena King’s office.
Emery didn’t return a text message from The Charlotte Observer. It was unknown Saturday if he is still practicing medicine. A phone number at his last known office is out of service.
If convicted, Emery faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on each count in the indictment, according to King’s office.
King announced the charges on Friday and thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation branch for investigating the case.