A Tennessee Physician, Two Florida Clinic Owners, and a Kentucky Man Convicted for Roles in Tennessee-Based Pill Mill Operation
LONDON, Ky. – A Tennessee doctor, two clinic owners from the Miami, FL area, and a Woodbine, KY man were convicted today by a federal jury in London on oxycodone-trafficking charges. Three defendants were also convicted of multiple counts of money laundering.
After three days of deliberations following a four-week trial, the jury convicted Timothy Gowder, 71, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Anwar Mithavayani, 55, and Pete Tyndale, 47, clinic owners from Florida, of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone. James Bradley Combs, 41, from Woodbine, Kentucky, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. One defendant, Gary Moore, 67, from Chattanooga, Tennessee was acquitted.
According to testimony at trial, Gowder and the clinic owners worked together to run an illicit pain clinic near Chattanooga, Tennessee, called Tennessee Pain Institute (or “TPI”), which drug addicts and drug traffickers in Kentucky and elsewhere used as their supplier.
The evidence further revealed that, after the Tennessee Department of Health investigated TPI’s doctors and federal law enforcement executed a search warrant at TPI, clinic owners Tyndale and Mithavayani opened a new pain clinic in North Carolina to cater to the same Kentucky population.
Gowder was indicted in May of 2017, while Mithavayani, Tyndale, and Combs were indicted in January of 2018.
Co-defendant Larry Karr of Keavy, Kentucky, pled guilty to the drug trafficking charge in May of 2018, and was later sentenced to 108 months in federal prison.
“Prosecuting the unlawful distribution of opioids by medical professionals is a foremost priority of the Department of Justice and our Office,” said United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. “The defendants contributed to the opioid crisis that is ruining lives in our District and throughout the Nation. I commend the law enforcement agencies involved for their thorough investigation, which ultimately resulted in the jury’s verdict that holds these defendants accountable for their actions.”
U.S. Attorney Duncan; Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Matthew Line of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; Andy Beshear, Kentucky Attorney General; and Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner of Kentucky State Police jointly announced the convictions.
The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the IRS, and the Kentucky Attorney’s General Office and the KSP. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Rosenberg.
The Court will set a date for the defendants to appear for sentencing. Combs faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, Gowder faces up to 40 years, while Mithavayani and Tyndale face up to 120 and 130 years in prison, respectively. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal statutes before imposing a sentence.
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