By MELINDA WILLIAMS
ROANOKE – A sentencing hearing for former Dublin doctor Linda Sue Cheek is continuing this morning in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
The hearing got underway Monday morning and was expected to be completed Monday. However, the hearing was progressing slower than expected, so Judge Glen E. Conrad continued it into this morning.
Conrad ruled in June that Cheek should receive an enhanced sentence for using another doctor to illegally distribute controlled substances from her office. He said Cheek is subject to a two-level enhancement of her sentence “based on her role in organizing and managing Dr. (Kathleen) Schultz,” whose DEA registration number was used to issue prescriptions to some of Cheek’s patients.
Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (USSG), a defendant’s base sentence can be enhanced two, three or four levels if the defendant “served as an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor in certain criminal activity.”
Three-level enhancements pertain to defendants who manage or supervise, but don’t organize or lead, a criminal activity involving five or more participants. Four-level enhancements pertain to defendants who organize or lead a criminal activity with five or more participants.
Two-level enhancements pertain to defendants who organize, lead, manage or supervise a criminal activity that does not meet requirements of the other two levels.
The court ruled that trial evidence “established Dr. Cheek recruited Dr. Schultz as an accomplice because of her ability to prescribe controlled substances; that Dr. Cheek dictated the terms of their relationship; that Dr. Cheek determined Dr. Schultz’s compensation, which was much less than Dr. Cheek’s, and that Dr. Cheek exercised control over Dr. Schultz and the prescriptions that were issued using her (Schultz’s) DEA registration number.”
Cheek’s registration number was suspended in 2008 after she pleaded guilty to Medicare and Medicaid fraud. It remained suspended when her license to practice medicine was reinstated.
A jury convicted Cheek in February of 86 counts of distributing scheduled controlled substances without holding a valid DEA registration number, 81 counts of using a DEA registration number issued to another person, and five counts of using a DEA registration number which was revoked or suspended.