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Roanoke Doctor Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

Roanoke Times, Sept. 2, 2005

Roanoke physician Cecil Byron Knox pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Abingdon to four charges, bringing to an end a years-long court battle.

Knox had faced 95 charges, including racketeering, mail fraud and multiple counts that his prescriptions of opioid medications such as OxyContin were outside the scope of legitimate medical practice and led to death or serious bodily injury.

Knox today pleaded guilty to racketeering, health care fraud and two counts of illegal distribution of marijuana.

Following an eight-week trial in 2003, a jury sitting in Roanoke acquitted Knox on some charges but deadlocked on others. Plans for a second trial were complicated last year when Knox suffered a relapse of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A federal judge ruled in April that Knox had recovered enough to stand trial a second time, and a court date was set for October in Abingdon.

Sentencing has been set for November. As part of the plea agreement, Knox will face a maximum of 12 months in prison. The sentencing also includes the possibility of an alternative to incarceration. Knox also agreed to surrender his medical license and his DEA registration number.

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