Podiatrist sentenced in drug case

October 01, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

At the time of his arrest in January, a Hagerstown podiatrist had nearly weaned himself off painkillers he began taking for severe headaches about two years before his arrest, the podiatrist's attorney said in a plea hearing Tuesday.

Bradley Scott Williams, 29, of 112 Bentley Court in Hagerstown, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to three counts of obtaining illegal drugs with false prescriptions.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright sentenced Williams to two years in prison, but freed him on the condition that Williams continue drug treatment and comply with restrictions imposed through a Pennsylvania licensing board.


Wright also ordered Williams to pay $2,000 in fines within six months.

Williams will retain his license to practice podiatry in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Williams' defense attorney John P. Corderman said at the hearing, but he will be on a three-year probationary period with the Pennsylvania State Board of Podiatry, which will monitor him for possible drug use.

Williams was charged Feb. 12 after a Washington County Narcotics Task Force investigation found he had been writing prescriptions for painkillers, picking them up under assumed names, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Robert Veil said.

The investigation began in January when a pharmacist at the Martin's Food Market at Fountainhead Plaza became suspicious of a customer in his 20s. The pharmacist told police the man had picked up several prescriptions for Percocet beginning in September 2002, and always paid cash.

That pharmacist called a pharmacist at the CVS at Maugans and Pennsylvania avenues, and the CVS pharmacist confirmed he had seen a man fitting the same description pick up painkillers.

After talking to managers at the Franklin County Foot and Ankle Center in Waynesboro, Pa., agents discovered Williams, a podiatrist there, was the same man who was picking up the prescriptions at the Martin's CVS stores around Washington County.

Police arrested Williams Jan. 7 at the Martin's pharmacy at Fountainhead Plaza, according to court documents.

Corderman said Tuesday that at the peak of Williams' addiction, he was taking 25 to 30 pills a day.

"He knew he was in trouble. He knew he had a problem," Corderman said. When Williams was arrested, he was down to about four pills a day, and hoped to break the addiction completely, he said.

Before sentencing, Williams told Wright he regretted what he had done.

"I'd like to apologize to anyone I may have harmed," Williams said. "The last few months have been extremely difficult for me ... (but) I've been able to start getting my life back together."

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