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7-year term for Virginia doctor accused of running pill mill

December 1, 2020 GMT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia physician has been sentenced to seven years in prison for running what prosecutors described as a pill mill that illegally put more more than $1 million in prescription drugs into the hands of addicts and dealers.

The sentence imposed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Felicia Donald, 65, of Great Falls was significantly less than the 14-year term sought by prosecutors.

Donald pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple charges. She admitted she ran a pain practice from 2016 through 2020 in which she charged patients $200 cash per visit. Prosecutors say the drugs she illegally prescribed had a street value of $1.2 million.

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Defense lawyers said she was easily manipulated and personally profited from the scheme by less than $25,000.

Two workers in her office have already pleaded guilty and received lesser sentences. Prosecutors said both were addicts who Donald would pay in part with illegal prescriptions.

Prosecutors said Donald also lied to law enforcement after her arrest about her exposure to the coronavirus, forcing an FBI agent to quarantine in a hotel room for two weeks.