South GA doctors found guilty for their roles in pill mills

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A federal jury found two South Georgia doctors guilty on Thursday for their roles in operating pill mills in Valdosta and Columbus.

Doctors William Bacon and Dontus Mbanefo were both arrested after an investigation into pain clinics in Valdosta and Columbus.

Prosecutors said the doctors were writing prescriptions at an unrealistically high rate, sometimes seeing bus-loads of patients from as far away as Ohio and Kentucky.

Officials said the doctors were billing anywhere from $1,200 to $1,400 a day to see patients, with a bonus if they saw more than 40 a day.

"This case demonstrates the importance of pursuing those individuals, including licensed medical professionals, who are preying on the addictive nature of opioids and other controlled substances," said United States Attorney Charlie Peeler.

Top investigators said any physicians who run illegal practices should expect to be sent to prison like other drug traffickers who "put poison in our communities."

Bacon is facing up to 20 years in federal prison and Mbanefo is facing 60.

Dates for their sentencings have not been set.

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