HOUSTON (KXAN) — A Houston jury convicted a Texas pharmacist Wednesday for her role in a pharmacy that dispensed over 100,000 opioid pills in exchange for cash. According to prosecutors, Deanna Winfield-Gates worked as a relief pharmacist at Health Fit Pharmacy, located in Houston. The Department of Justice characterized the cash-only pharmacy as a “pill-mill.”
Prosecutors argued Health Fit handed out the drugs, oftentimes based on fraudulent prescriptions, issued in the names of doctors who’d had their identities stolen. Winfield-Gates filled prescriptions for opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, as well as drugs like the muscle relaxer carisoprodol, the anxiety drug alprazolam, and promethazine with codeine.
The federal jury in Houston Wednesday convicted Winfield-Gates of one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense controlled substances. She faces up to 20 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2024.
Winfield-Gates is the final defendant in this case. Three other co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.