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Popular Woodstock doctor pleads guilty to distributing painkillers "without legitimate medical purpose"
By Julia Reischel
10/19/12 - 6:14 pm
10/19/12 - 6:14 pm
On Wednesday, October 17, Doctor Wayne Longmore of Woodstock pled guilty to a federal drug charge that will cost him his medical license and his future at his cash-only Woodstock Walk-In Doctor's Office.
Longmore, a former emergency room doctor whose small-town clinic catered to those without health insurance, was arrested in March and charged with prescribing thousands of hydrocodone (Vicodin) pills "without a legitimate medical purpose."
According to a Daily Freeman article written at the time:
Longmore wrote approximately 9,940 hydrocodone prescriptions between Dec. 15, 2010, and Jan. 17, 2012, accounting for nearly 85 percent of all prescriptions he wrote during that period, according to the complaint. It said approximately 4,520 of those hydrocodone prescriptions were for patients under 35.
On Wednesday, Longmore admitted that he was "responsible for the distribution of at least 2,500 units but less than 5,000 units of hydrocodone" between November 3, 2011 and March 21, 2012, according to an FBI press release.
As part of his plea deal, Longmore will be fined $200,000 (the reported proceeds made from the drugs he distributed) and will give up his licenses to practice medicine and write prescriptions. He faces a possible ten years in prison. His sentence will be decided a hearing in February. His clinic is closed, its future uncertain.
According to a story in this week's Woodstock Times, Longmore's laywer is hoping to keep his client out of jail:
Standard sentencing for the charge that Dr. Longmore pled guilty for is “between six and 12 months of jail time,” [Lawyer David] Gruenberg added.
“I believe there are a number of elements that could reduce the judge’s sentencing significantly,” he added. “We are hoping for a sentence without incarceration.”
Longmore's guilty plea comes as something of shock to many of his supporters in Woodstock, who applaud his mission of providing easy and affordable access to health care for those without insurance.
After his arrest this spring, Longmore was the subject of "an outpouring of [supportive] letter-writing by Woodstock patients," according to a Woodstock Times article. Another article in the Woodstock Times a week later quoted from the letters:
“Warm, caring, experienced conscientious, trustworthy, honest,” were some of the words bandied about in description of Dr. Longmore. “Patron saint of the uninsured,” “filled a need,” “thoughtful doctor,” and “mensch,” were among dozens of other statements.
A Facebook group, Support Dr. Wayne Longmore, was created in March and now has 71 members. On Thursday, the group posted a notice requesting letters to be sent to the judge who will determine the length of Longmore's jail term:
Just spoke to dr longmore's lawyer. he would like us to write letters to Judge Kahn. these letters can NOT talk about wayne's innocence-- he pled guilty, that boat has sailed. he wants concrete examples of how wayne helped us and enhanced the community. send the letters to David Gruenberg 54 2nd Street Troy, NY 12180
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