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Ex-Hawkins County doctor accused of running pill mill wants search evidence rejected

Staff Report • Mar 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A former Hawkins County doctor accused of running one of the most deadly East Tennessee "pill mills" ever unearthed asked a magistrate judge Friday to toss out a search warrant his attorney says was too long in coming.According to a report by the Knoxville News Sentinel John Theodore Hancock, who is accused of dispensing death to five patients and addictions to dozens more, is trying via attorney Richard Gaines to convince U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman to deem a 2006 search of his Hancock Family Medical Practice legally flawed.Hancock faces a July 6 trial on a 112-count indictment alleging crimes ranging from ripping off TennCare to knowingly overprescribing powerful narcotics to evading taxes on more than $1 million in income earned in just three years.In a probe spearheaded by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, authorities allege Hancock ran a pill mill instead of a medical practice. For the admission price of $100 cash, addicts could snare prescriptions for painkillers and sedatives without even the guise of an examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith alleges in the indictment.In just more than a year, five of Hancock's patients died from overdoses. Smith alleges Hancock himself caused them with recklessly criminal prescription practices.CLICK HERE for the full report.

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