Maryville Pain Clinic Operator Tamral Guzman Convicted
October 4, 2012 Department of Justice
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a nine-day trial in U.S. District Court, Knoxville, Tenn, a jury convicted Tamral Guzman, 42, of Maryville, Tenn., on all counts of an indictment which charged her with conspiracy to dispense and distribute controlled prescription medications, including among others, oxycodone. The jury also found her guilty of money laundering and structuring financial transactions. Guzman, who was on bond at the time of trial, failed to appear in court on the seventh day of the trial. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest and the trial continued to conclusion in her absence.
The indictment in this case was the result of a lengthy investigation into Guzman's operation of Maryville Pain Management, LLC, between August 2008 and December 2010. The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Guzman's operation of this clinic generated in excess of $2,000,000 in cash revenue. After the guilty verdicts were returned, evidence was presented to the jury concerning the forfeiture of certain properties to the United States. The jury returned a second verdict ordering that Guzman forfeit to the government three parcels of real property, a boat, approximately $200,000 and ordered a money judgment in favor of the United States of in excess of $2,000,000.
Sentencing is set for March 20, 2013 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn. Guzman faces a possible sentence on each of the drug trafficking offenses of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. She also faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the six counts involving money laundering.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Guzman included the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and investigators with the Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force.
United States Attorney William C. Killian said, "This verdict should send a message to those who are unscrupulously operating pain clinics in this district that their conduct will not be tolerated. I laud the efforts of the investigators from the Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force and the IRS-CI and DEA agents who worked tirelessly to shut this pain clinic down."
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Kolman and Frank Dale represented the United States at trial.
Prescription drug use is a problem in Tennessee
Drug overdose deaths in Tennessee are increasing:The number of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased from 422 in 2001 to 1,059 in 2010; The number of drug overdose deaths in 2010 represents an increase of 250% over the 10 year time period. Includes all drug overdose deaths where the manner of death was listed as one of the following: accidental, undetermined, suicide (intentional), or homicide.
Source: Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health - Death Certificates.
The top three most prescribed controlled substances in Tennessee in 2010 are:
275.5 million pills of hydrocodone (e.g., Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin);
116.6 million pills prescribed for alprazolam (e.g., Xanax: used to treat anxiety);
113.5 million pills prescribed for oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Roxicodone) Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both prescription opioids used to treat pain.
The number of drugs prescribed during 2010 to Tennesseans represents:
Source: Report to the 2011 General Assembly by the Tennessee Department of Health Controlled Substance Database Advisory Committee, Board of Pharmacy.
Prescription drug abuse affects everyone:
Abuse of prescription opioids is the number one drug problem for Tennesseans receiving state-funded treatment services;
Almost 250,000 Tennesseans older than 12 reported abusing prescription opioids in 2009.
Source: Treatment Episode Data Set - Admission (TEDS-A). 1999 - 2009. SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.
Prescription drug abuse hits every profession and every socioeconomic level:
For those seeking state-funded treatment, people who were stable (married, employed and had at least a high school education) were 3.16 times more likely than less stable consumers to use prescription opioids than illicit drugs.
Source: Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services. Tennessee Web Information Technology System (TN WITS) Database.
Prescription drug abuse especially affects women:
While more men were admitted to treatment in 2009 than women, a higher percentage of women abuse prescription opioids;
21% of 6,827 men reported prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;
27% of 3,403 women listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;
35% of 142 pregnant women admitted to state-funded treatment services in Tennessee listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse.
Source: SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.
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