Pearce v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., No. 87-4117

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation867 F.2d 253
PartiesCharles E. PEARCE, M.D., Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 87-4117
Decision Date05 December 1988

Page 253

867 F.2d 253
Charles E. PEARCE, M.D., Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DRUG ENFORCEMENT
ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.
No. 87-4117.
United States Court of Appeals,
Sixth Circuit.
Submitted Sept. 30, 1988.
Decided Dec. 5, 1988.

John C. Lawn, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Admin., Washington, D.C., Marsha

Page 254

Jones, Drug Enforcement Admin., Louisville, Ky., Charlotte A. Mapes, Office of Chief Counsel, Drug Enforcement Admin., Dianne L. Martin, Hearing Clerk, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., Margaret A. Grove, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Narcotic & Dangerous Drug Sec., Crim. Div., Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Frank E. Haddad, Jr., Ronald P. Hillerich, Louisville, Ky., for petitioner.

BEFORE: WELLFORD and NELSON, Circuit Judges; and McQUADE, * District Judge.

PER CURIAM.

This is an appeal by a medical doctor, Charles E. Pearce, from the decision of the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) revoking his license to dispense drugs. The petitioner had previously pleaded nolo contendere in a plea bargain arrangement to a violation of federal drug laws. As required by the statute here involved, 21 U.S.C. Sec. 824(b), the DEA notified Dr. Pearce that it intended to revoke his registration which allowed him to dispense controlled substances. At the hearing Pearce claimed that he did not violate the law, despite his plea, and was permitted to challenge the sources of government information relating to the indictment charges against him. The Administrator accepted the ALJ's findings after the hearing, and revoked his registration. We affirm.

Dr. Pearce was indicted by a federal grand jury of forty-one counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1) and one count of making false statements and representations of material facts in violation of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396a(a)(2). Dr. Pearce pleaded nolo contendere to unlawful distribution of a schedule III controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1), Count II of the indictment, pursuant to a plea bargain. The plea was accepted; Dr. Pearce was convicted and sentenced. The sentence was later suspended, and Dr. Pearce was punished only by being required to pay a civil fine of $25,000. 1

Over a year later, the DEA sent a notice to Dr. Pearce informing him that they intended to revoke his DEA Certificate of Registration to dispense controlled substances because of his prior conviction for violating 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1). As required by the statute, he was accorded a hearing to show cause why his license should not be revoked.

ALJ Mary Ellen Bittner conducted a hearing on the proposed revocation of Dr. Pearce's registration. At the hearing, the government offered the testimony of a DEA agent, who testified to the investigation of Dr. Pearce's practice, and the circumstances under which he dispensed drugs to undercover agents posing as patients and to others on numerous occasions. The testimony pertained to all of the allegations in the indictment including the one to which Dr. Pearce pleaded nolo contendere.

Dr. Pearce also testified at the hearing. He insisted that he did not dispense any medications other than in the ordinary course of what he deemed to be good sound medical treatment. Dr. Pearce also claimed that he was not really guilty of the charge to which he pleaded nolo contendere, claiming that he took this step because he was then separating from his wife who suffered from cancer and that both of his parents had recently died. Dr. Pearce's attorney vigorously attacked the credibility of the parties through which the government obtained its information during the investigation.

The ALJ then rendered her opinion, findings of fact, conclusions of law, and decision, concluding that the nolo contendere plea provided the statutory basis for the revocation of the DEA registration. The DEA Administrator adopted the ALJ's decision.

Page 255

"The Administrator...

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9 practice notes
  • Myers v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 89-5337
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 11, 1990
    ...nolo contendere and a conviction after a guilty plea or trial. See Pearce v. United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., 867 F.2d 253 (6th Cir.1988); Noell v. Bensinger, 586 F.2d 554 (5th Cir.1978); Qureshi v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 519 F.2d 1174 (5th Cir.......
  • University of West Virginia Bd. of Trustees on Behalf of West Virginia University v. Fox, No. 23091
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 11, 1996
    ...statutory provisions of a type not at issue in the instant case. See Pearce v. United States Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., 867 F.2d 253 (6th Cir.1988) (Interpreted the word "conviction" as used in 21 U.S.C. § 824 to include a conviction based upon a plea of no contest, and perm......
  • Hoxie v. Drug Enforcement Admin., No. 04-4122.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 16, 2005
    ...Page 484 Glover Livestock Comm'n Co., 411 U.S. 182, 185, 93 S.Ct. 1455, 36 L.Ed.2d 142 (1973); Pearce v. United States Dep't of Justice, 867 F.2d 253, 256 (6th Cir.1988). The DEA's decision to revoke Dr. Hoxie's registration was consistent with the DEA's view of the importance of physician ......
  • Suspension of Registrations:
    • United States
    • Federal Register August 01, 2011
    • August 1, 2011
    ...that results in a judgment of conviction constitutes a conviction for purposes of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Pearce v. DEA, 867 F.2d 253, (6th Cir. 1988); Noell v. Bensinger, 586 F.2d 554, 556-57 (5th Cir. 1978); Sokoloff v. Saxbe, 501 F.2d 571, 575 (2d Cir. 1974). \15\ A Plea Que......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Myers v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 89-5337
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • January 11, 1990
    ...nolo contendere and a conviction after a guilty plea or trial. See Pearce v. United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., 867 F.2d 253 (6th Cir.1988); Noell v. Bensinger, 586 F.2d 554 (5th Cir.1978); Qureshi v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 519 F.2d 1174 (5th Cir.......
  • Hoxie v. Drug Enforcement Admin., No. 04-4122.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • August 16, 2005
    ...Page 484 Glover Livestock Comm'n Co., 411 U.S. 182, 185, 93 S.Ct. 1455, 36 L.Ed.2d 142 (1973); Pearce v. United States Dep't of Justice, 867 F.2d 253, 256 (6th Cir.1988). The DEA's decision to revoke Dr. Hoxie's registration was consistent with the DEA's view of the importance of physician ......
  • University of West Virginia Bd. of Trustees on Behalf of West Virginia University v. Fox, No. 23091
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 11, 1996
    ...statutory provisions of a type not at issue in the instant case. See Pearce v. United States Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Admin., 867 F.2d 253 (6th Cir.1988) (Interpreted the word "conviction" as used in 21 U.S.C. § 824 to include a conviction based upon a plea of no contest......
  • United States v. Johnson, No. 15–1076.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 30, 2015
    ...is all that matters. See Myers v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 893 F.2d 840, 843 (6th Cir.1990) ; Pearce v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 867 F.2d 253, 255–56 (6th Cir.1988) (per curiam); see also United States v. Adedoyin, 369 F.3d 337, 343–45 (3d Cir.2004) ; Fed.R.Crim.P. 11 advisory comm......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 provisions
  • Suspension of Registrations:
    • United States
    • Federal Register August 01, 2011
    • August 1, 2011
    ...that results in a judgment of conviction constitutes a conviction for purposes of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Pearce v. DEA, 867 F.2d 253, (6th Cir. 1988); Noell v. Bensinger, 586 F.2d 554, 556-57 (5th Cir. 1978); Sokoloff v. Saxbe, 501 F.2d 571, 575 (2d Cir. 1974). \15\ A Plea Que......
  • Decisions and Orders:
    • United States
    • Federal Register September 30, 2011
    • September 30, 2011
    ...is sufficient to allow the Attorney General (through the DEA Administrator) to revoke or suspend a DEA registration.'' Pearce v. DEA, 867 F.2d 253, 255 (6th Cir. 1988) (citing Fitzhugh v. DEA, F.2d 1248, 1253 (DC Cir. 1987)). Agency precedent takes an expansive view of what constitutes a ``......

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