The Grand Rapids dentist charged with illegally using a prescription drug for his patients faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge in the town of San Antonio.
A grand jury indicted Joseph L. Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony drug possession charges Thursday in U.S. District Court, after grand jurors discovered Brown was using a medicine he prescribed to treat a chronic pain condition.
Brown, 45, of St. Louis, told investigators he was prescribed the medication for a condition that caused his teeth to wear down, according to a grand jury document.
Brown was prescribed a different medication, and his treatment of the condition, which was not covered by Medicare, became covered by the federal health care law, the document said.
Brown was arrested Aug. 18 after being stopped at a gas station and found to be driving with a suspended license, according, to a statement from the Grand Rapids Police Department.
He has been suspended from practice and will be prosecuted by the district attorney.
He faces a maximum of 10 years in jail, a $250,000 fine and supervised release, according.
The case remains open and Brown’s attorneys are seeking a court order to vacate the probation and fine he was ordered to pay in March.