An Opelika psychiatrist is facing federal drug charges after agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency served search warrants at his offices Thursday.
Dr. James Edwards III was arrested Thursday and is charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, Doug Howard, spokesman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montgomery, told the Opelika-Auburn News.
Edwards made his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon before a federal judge at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, where he was formally charged, Howard said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montgomery is alleging that Edwards “was issuing prescriptions for controlled substances without legitimate medical reasons,” Howard said.
Edwards was arrested on a complaint. The details of the complaint were not released as of Thursday night.
Edwards is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals as he awaits a detention hearing, which is set for Monday afternoon, Howard said.
“We (the U.S. Attorney’s Office) moved to detain him unless he surrendered his license to practice medicine and relinquished his right to prescribe medications,” Howard said. “He has to fill out some paperwork to do both of those and he and his attorneys requested a detention hearing to consider that.”
Edwards will be detained until the hearing Monday and will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
The DEA began Thursday morning executing its search warrants of Edwards’ offices in Opelika and in Gulf Shores. The searches were considered complete Thursday night, Howard said.
Edwards’ Opelika office is located off Executive Park Drive in Opelika.
No other information about the investigation or arrest was made available Thursday.