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February 01 04:52 AM

Monroe doctor sentenced for distributing growth hormones

More than $400,000 worth of illegal hormones sold

SHREVEPORT, La: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced last Friday that Dr. Linda Camille Bunch Wells, 53, of Monroe, was sentenced Thursday to 27 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $200,00 in criminal proceeds for importing and distributing adult growth hormones.

In June 2010, Wells was charged in a 21count indictment with conspiracy, distribution, and facilitation and receipt of smuggled hGH. She was administering the growth hormones at the Northeast Louisiana Anti-Aging and Well ness Center in Monroe from July 2003 until July 2008. The hormones were part of a socalled anti-aging program for patients. Most of the hormones administered were illegally imported into the U.S.

Wells and her business partners would buy the drugs overseas, and the packages would be labeled non-medial products in order to pass through U.S. Customs. Under federal law, growth hormones may only be used for the treatment of specified diseases. Although Wells was only held accountable for distributing $200,000 in illegal growth hormones, evidence at sentencing revealed that the company administered more than 26,926 units of the hormones over the five-year period totaling more than $406,000 in sales.

“We will prosecute those who circumvent the law to provide controlled substances to patients for personal gain, ”U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said. “Those involved in this operation knowingly obtained these hormones illegally and released them into the community with no concern for the safety of those who were taking them.”

The Food and Drug Administration/Office of Criminal Investigations and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Campbell prosecuted the case.

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