A Tennessee doctor pleaded guilty yesterday in the Eastern District of Tennessee to maintaining his Knoxville, Tennessee, pain clinic as an illegal drug premises.

According to court documents, Dr. David Newman, 61, of Maryville, owned, operated, and was Medical Director of Tennessee Valley Pain Specialists (TVPS), a non-insurance, cash-equivalent pain clinic. Newman owned this clinic with Dr. Steven Mynatt. Newman continued to operate and serve as Medical Director of TVPS, despite knowing that Mynatt was prescribing opioids to patients outside professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose. Newman and Mynatt were charged with drug-related offenses as part of the April 2019 Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strick Force Surge. Mynatt entered a guilty plea related to his distribution of controlled substances at TVPS in February 2020 and will be sentenced on Feb. 9, 2022.

Newman pleaded guilty to unlawfully maintaining a drug premises. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 9, 2022, and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III for the Eastern District of Tennessee; Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Special Agent in Charge Joseph Carrico of the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and Special Agent in Charge Andy Corbitt of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) made the announcement.

The DEA, FBI, HHS-OIG, and TBI are investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Louis Manzo and Assistant Chief Jillian Willis of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto of the Eastern District of Tennessee are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force. Since its inception in October 2018, the ARPO Strike Force, which operates in 10 federal districts, has charged more than 85 defendants who are collectively responsible for distributing more than 65 million pills.