Former medical examiner now facing racketeering charges

A former medical examiner for several metro Atlanta counties who is alleged to have written prescriptions for sex has now been indicted on racketeering charges.

Charges against Dr. Joseph Burton include illegally distributing opioid painkillers and other drugs, the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad said this month.

Burton and others are charged with conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances with no legitimate medical reason from July 2015 through February.

Burton is also charged with 10 counts of illegal drug distribution for specific prescriptions.

He allegedly wrote more than 1,100 opioid prescriptions, which would account for 108,000 individual doses, including over 66,000 30 mg oxycodone pills.

The drugs were illegally distributed in Barrow, Bartow, Cobb, Fayette, Floyd, Gwinnett, Hall and Paulding counties, officials said.

Last October, federal authorities said they think Burton traded drugs for sex. In an affidavit, Drug Enforcement Administration Officer Raymond Baker said his investigation led him to believe “that Burton exchanged prescriptions for sexual favors.”

Burton once was the medical examiner for numerous counties, including DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett.

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