Crime & Courts

Wasilla doctor pleads guilty to federal charge of illegally distributing controlled substances

An Alaska doctor this month pleaded guilty to illegally distributing narcotics to his patients at Camelot Family Health clinic in Wasilla, where he specialized in pain management and family medicine.

Under a federal plea agreement, Dr. David Chisholm, 64, is required to surrender his state medical license. He also faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine, plus three years of supervised release.

Chisholm illegally and routinely “prescribed thousands of pills of highly addictive controlled substances” — including oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl — to patients who had not undergone a medical exam, and he issued prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska said in a statement Wednesday.

The violations were discovered through an undercover investigation that revealed that “Chisholm’s prescription of these controlled substances was one of the significant contributing factors in the accidental deaths of five patients,” federal prosecutors said.

Court documents indicated that Chisholm’s violations had begun at a time unknown to a grand jury and continued up to or until late October 2020.

Chisholm will be sentenced at a later date by a federal district court judge.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alaska State Board of Pharmacy and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Schroeder, according to federal prosecutors.