At the same time, Acworth police said they were investigating local drug dealers who were obtaining controlled substances from Burton’s prescriptions, the court filings said.
In March 2017, agents interviewed an informant who said Burton was romantically involved with and providing controlled-substance prescriptions to a person who worked at a dance bar frequented by Burton, the filings said. Eventually, Burton provided the informant, whose name was not disclosed, with controlled-substance prescriptions in exchange for going on dates or, on one occasion, if he could “get a feel,” authorities said. Agents noted that Burton’s conversations with the informant were secretly recorded.
Drug Enforcement Administration Officer Raymond Baker said in an affidavit that his investigation led him to believe “that Burton exchanged prescriptions for sexual favors.”
It is hard to overstate the impact Burton had as medical examiner serving multiple metro counties from the late 1970s through the 1990s. He worked with the FBI and the GBI on the Atlanta missing and murdered children cases and was involved in the Sara Tokars murder investigation, among many others.
Atlanta criminal defense lawyer Jeff Brickman, who represented Burton at his bond hearing, said Burton performed important work for local prosecutors for decades.
“Dr. Burton has an outstanding reputation in the legal community, both in Atlanta and throughout the nation,” Brickman said. “He has spoken on behalf of thousands of victims of horrific crimes and has given them life through his testimony.”
Federal prosecutors also filed a forfeiture motion seeking to seize Burton’s office on Ga. 9 in Alpharetta.
Burton, who is a doctor and licensed forensic pathologist, prescribed oxycodone to a large number of patients, according to the forfeiture filing. From July 2015 through Aug. 12, 2017, Burton issued 1,507 prescriptions — 1,107 of which were for opioids, the filing said.
This amounted to 108,850 individual doses of opioids, the filing said.
“From their investigation, agents learned that many of the 108,850 individual doses of opioids were resold or diverted to abusers and addicts,” prosecutors said.
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