David E. Sears, a Nocona dentist who also practices in Henrietta, plead guilty in a Montague County court last week to fraudulent delivery of a controlled substance, a prescription narcotic. The conviction will cost Sears his medical license.
Sears, 49, was arrested May 25, 2011 following an investigation by the district attorney’s office. Jack McGaughey, 97th District Attorney, said Sears wrote a prescription for hydrocodone in the name of a former patient, then had the prescription filled at a Bowie pharmacy.
In the Thursday, June 25 plea agreement, Sears received 10 years probation and a fine of $3,500. If Sears violates probation, he could face 10 years in prison.
McGaughey said Sears had completed five years deferred adjudication in Montague County for a similar plea bargain in 2003. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners suspended Sears’ license in April as part of a settlement, but the suspension was probated.
McGaughey said last week’s plea resulted in a “final conviction,” which will result in the cancelation of his license.
According to The Bowie News, Sears has a long history of prescription drug violations.
From July 2, 1990 to June 22, 2011, Sears fraudulently obtained a DEA registration by not disclosing his criminal history.
From Sept. 1, 2010 to Aug. 19, 2011, the dentist engaged in “dishonorable conduct,” according to the TSBDE, by improperly possessing and using prescription drugs, and was habitually intemperate” in the use of hydrocodone. The findings cited six instances where Sears prescribed hydrocodone without a valid purpose, and was self-prescribing the drug for personal use.
In an agreement with the TSBDE, Sears entered a treatment program. The Bowie News reports that as of April, Sears was in compliance with the treatment program.
As a part of the plea agreement, Sears was ordered to remain in the treatment program, and surrender his DEA and DPS permits for the transport of controlled substances.
In addition to his dental practice, Sears is the former owner of a Henrietta convenience store and a hardware store.
Delivery of a controlled substance, prescription narcotics, is a third-degree felony.