In a federal court decision yesterday, former San Antonio doctor Paul Silva, 48, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.
Court documents revealed that Silva admitted to unlawfully and fraudulently issuing more than 500 prescriptions, totaling over 40,000 dosage units of controlled substances, primarily opioids. These prescriptions were made in the names of living and deceased family members, former patients, and others after Silva's medical license had expired and was subsequently suspended.
The investigation further disclosed that co-conspirators, Denton Thomas, 38, and Nicholas Klumpp, 32, both of San Antonio, were involved in the illegal activities. Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of dispensing and possession with intent to dispense a controlled substance without lawful medical purpose and aiding and abetting. His sentencing is scheduled for April 2024. Klumpp pleaded guilty to conspiracy to dispense and possess with intent to dispense and distribute controlled substances without lawful medical purpose, along with one count of dispensing and possession with intent to dispense a controlled substance without lawful medical purpose and aiding and abetting. Klumpp was sentenced to 27 months on both counts concurrently on September 25, 2023.
The U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza emphasized the severity of the opioid epidemic, stating that overdose deaths have surpassed automobile deaths as the leading cause of death nationwide. Esparza expressed the commitment to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to address the issue by pursuing legal actions against individuals diverting prescription drugs from legitimate medical use to the streets.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Houston Division highlighted Silva's actions, noting that despite losing his medical privileges, Silva continued to prescribe highly addictive prescription pills to himself and fictitious patients, exacerbating the country's opioid problem.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted the investigation.