COFFEE COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — A Coffee County physician and two of his employees have pleaded guilty to participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed massive amounts of addictive controlled substances from a pain management clinic.

Dr. Wallace Steven Anderson, 68, of Douglas, Ga., is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense Schedule IV controlled substances, according to David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Anderson is the owner of Steve Anderson, PC, and Steve Anderson Behavioral Health, located in Douglas, Ga. Anderson admitted that from Feb. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020, his nominal pain management and addiction facilities distributed alprazolam, temazepam, and clonazepam “not for legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice” by providing pre-signed refill prescriptions prior to patient examinations.

Anderson faces up to five years in prison followed by at least one year of supervised release and financial penalties.

“Our office remains committed to fighting the opioid crisis that has afflicted far too many people in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to bring to justice those like Dr. Anderson who use their positions as medical professionals to illegally distribute dangerous and addictive drugs.” 

Two employees at the clinics, Bridgett Stephanie Taylor, 55, of Broxton, Ga., a Nurse Practitioner who worked under Anderson, and Wandle Keith Butler, 57, of Douglas, a Physician Assistant who worked under Anderson, also await sentencing after previously pleading guilty in the conspiracy. The employees previously pleaded guilty.

“Americans rely on physicians and other healthcare providers to help their patients and to ‘do no harm.’ This pill-peddling physician and his co-conspirators violated the law and betrayed the responsibilities of their profession by unlawfully dispensing highly-addictive controlled substances,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “The law enforcement community is committed to stopping unscrupulous medical professionals from harming patients.”

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. The investigation is being conducted by the DEA’s Savannah Resident Office, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and was prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew A. Josephson and Bradford C. Patrick.