Wakefield doctor sentenced for distributing Oxycontin



October 6, 2005 - Last Friday, Middlesex Superior Court Judge John Connor sentenced a Wakefield orthopedic surgeon in connection with the distribution of Oxycontin to a patient and an undercover police officer.

Douglas Howard, age 57, of Wakefield, pled guilty to distribution of Oxycontin (two counts), possession of a Class D substance, possession of a Class C substance (three counts), possession of a Class E substance (three counts), possession of Class B substance, possession of Oxycontin, illegal distribution of a Oxycontin (two counts), and possession of cocaine.

Connor sentenced Howard to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction, three months to serve and the balance suspended for four years. He was also sentenced to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction, three months to serve and the balance suspended for four years, to run concurrently with the first sentence. Howard was ordered to serve four years probation, with the first nine months of the probationary period under house arrest. Additionally, Howard was ordered to have no contact with the victims, no use of illegal narcotics, undergo drug treatment and counseling, and undergo random drug screens.

Howard had a private practice in Melrose and was affiliated with Melrose-Wakefield Hospital until he was suspended following the charges.

According to authorities, in mid-January, Billerica Police received information that a Wakefield physician had engaged in activity whereby he would provide prescriptions for Oxycontin in exchange for other illegal substances and a portion of the Oxycontin prescription.

Billerica Police contacted State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office's Special Investigations Division, and together they commenced an undercover investigation into Howard's activities. On two occasions, Howard provided Oxycontin to an undercover State Police Trooper in exchange for the drug ecstasy, as well as a portion of the prescribed Oxycontin.

On Jan. 28, after a two-week undercover investigation, a search warrant was executed at home of Howard and he was subsequently arrested without incident. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of ecstasy. During the search of his home, investigators uncovered additional narcotics and prescriptions drugs.

Howard was arraigned in Malden District Court before Judge Lee Johnson on Jan. 31. He pled not guilty and was released on $1,000 cash bail prior to arraignment.

Howard was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on June 30. He was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on July 25, pled not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.

He began serving his sentence on Friday in the Billerica House of Correction. The prosecutor assigned to the case was Assistant District Attorney Cara Krysil.




Wakefield doctor indicted for OxyContin distribution



July 7, 2005 - Today, a Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against a Wakefield orthopedic surgeon in connection with the distribution of Oxycontin a patient and an undercover police officer.

Douglas Howard, age 57, of Wakefield, was charged with distribution of Oxycontin (2 counts), possession of a Class D substance, possession of a Class C substance (3 counts), possession of a Class E substance (3 counts), possession of Class B substance, possession of Oxycontin, illegal distribution of a Oxycontin (2 counts), and possession of cocaine.

Howard had previously been arraigned in district court, and now faces the Superior Court charges. According to authorities, in mid-January, Billerica Police received information that a Wakefield physician had engaged in activity whereby he would provide prescriptions for Oxycontin in exchange for other illegal substances and a portion of the Oxycontin prescription. Billerica Police contacted State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office's Special Investigations Division, and together they commenced an undercover investigation into Dr. Howard's activities.

On two occasions, Dr. Howard is alleged to have provided Oxycontin to an undercover State Police Trooper in exchange for the drug Ecstasy, as well as a portion of the prescribed Oxycontin. On Jan. 28, 2005, after a two-week undercover investigation, a search warrant was executed at home of Dr. Howard, he was subsequently placed under arrest without incident. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of Ecstasy. During the search of his home, investigators uncovered additional narcotics and prescriptions drugs.

Howard was arraigned in Malden District Court before Judge Lee Johnson on Jan. 31. He pled not guilty and was released on $1,000 cash bail prior to arraignment. A Superior Court arraignment date has not yet been scheduled. The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Cara Krysil.






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