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Two Wisconsin physicians facing serious federal drug charges

Two Wisconsin physicians - an allergist and a dermatologist - have been charged with a multitude of drug crimes for what federal prosecutors are alleging was their role in a cocaine distribution ring.

According to court documents, the two physicians committed the majority of the alleged drug crimes in Kenosha, with some activity in nearby Racine, Waterford, and Sturtevant.

Just this week, the dermatologist pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm and six counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

It is worth noting that the dermatologist is already battling drug charges in Kenosha County Circuit Court, where he was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

The allergist pleaded not guilty to two charges last week, including one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

A conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge can result in 10 years to life in federal prison, while a possession of cocaine with intent to distribute charge can result in a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

Interestingly, the two physicians have not yet been stripped of their license to practice medicine. However, the dermatologist is currently under certain restrictions handed down by the Medical Examining Board last August. Specifically, he must abstain from both alcohol and drugs, attend treatment programs for both and submit to regular drug testing.

The two are currently free from custody but are due back in federal court next week for a status conference.

Source: The Journal Times Online, "Doctors facing federal drug charges plead not guilty," Janine Anderson, 10 March 2011

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