Why Is The DEA Hounding This Doctor?

The feds are cracking down on pain specialists, and doctors--and their patients--are crying foul

On a cold morning last April, in the shadow of Montana's Beartooth Mountain range, five agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) walked into the office of Dr. Richard Nelson, a Billings neurologist. For six hours, they combed through his records, seizing 72 patient charts and confiscating his drug-dispensing permit. The charge? None so far, but the assumption is that he is suspected of improperly prescribing narcotic drugs. Despite a distinguished professional record spanning more than four decades, Nelson has had to spend $20,000 on lawyers, fearing that the government will indict him if it turns out that one of his...

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