Doctor arrested on opium trafficking charges

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – A Tuscaloosa doctor was arrested Tuesday after a grand jury last week indicted him on multiple counts including five counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and five counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, opium, a press release says.

Tuscaloosa police Lt. Teena Richardson says Dr. James Fullerton Hooper, 69 of Tuscaloosa, was arrested this morning on the grand jury indictments and is in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on $20,000 bond.

Hooper is the owner of Dr. James Hooper’s Clinic on Mimosa Park Road in Tuscaloosa.

Richardson says a investigation began approximately two years ago after the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force received complaints from citizens, concerning Hooper prescribing “massive amounts of pain medication to patients without any medical verification.”

The investigation is ongoing, and Richardson says there are hundreds of charges pending against Hooper.

According to Capt. Wayne Robertson, commander of the narcotics task force, pharmaceuticals cause more drug-related deaths than cocaine heroin or any other illicit drug combines. He says he is concerned pharmaceuticals may be replacing marijuana as the primary drug of choice among young adults.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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