Crime & Courts

Wichita doctor facing federal drug charges; patient died, indictment says

Steven R. Henson
Steven R. Henson Courtesy of Sedgwick County Jail

An indictment unsealed Thursday alleges that a Wichita doctor “diverted prescription drugs to the streets, resulting in one of his patients dying from an overdose,” U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Eight people who received prescriptions from the doctor also have been charged with unlawfully distributing prescription drugs, including powerful pain medications.

In a statement Thursday, Grissom’s office said that the doctor, Steven R. Henson, 54, operated Kansas Men’s Clinic at 3636 N. Ridge Road.

Henson’s defense attorney, Kurt Kerns, said of Henson: “He is widely recognized as conducting medical missions throughout the world and has acted in service organizations routinely throughout the years, so this (the indictment) comes as a shock to everyone who knows him.” Henson’s medical practice is a pain specialist, Kerns said.

One of the 31 charges in the federal indictment involves at least 22,396 30-milligram oxycodone tablets. On multiple occasions, Henson illegally dispensed oxycodone, a controlled prescription drug, to an undercover agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the indictment says.

In another charge, Henson is accused of distributing methadone and alprazolam “without a legitimate medical purpose,” resulting in the death of someone identified as N.M. on July 24, 2015.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Henson is charged with:

▪ Conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside the course of medical practice.

▪ Unlawfully distributing oxycodone.

▪ Unlawfully distributing oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam.

▪ Unlawfully distributing methadone and alprazolam, resulting in the death of N.M.

▪ Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

▪ Presenting false patient records to investigators.

▪ Obstruction of justice.

▪ Money laundering.

Henson was arrested and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Thursday morning, records show. He remained in jail late Thursday evening; no bond amount was listed.

The doctor faces a court appearance Friday afternoon, Kerns said, adding that he will make “strong arguments for his release on bond.”

“And it’s important for everyone involved to continue to presume Dr. Henson innocent,” Kerns said.

Some of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each count.

Also charged, according to the statement, are: Kimi Harper, 50, of Kansas City, Mo.; Amanda Terwilleger, 33, of Topeka; Jeremy Wojack, 35, of Topeka; Jordan Allison, 27, of Shawnee; Grant Lubbers, 29, of Whitewater; Joel Torres Jr., 28, of Newton; David Montano, 32; and Keith Attebery, 20, of Newton.

According to the indictment, Henson was registered with the DEA to dispense prescription controlled substances. His registered addresses included the Kansas Men’s Clinic and a location at 1861 N. Rock Road, Suite 201.

The indictment also alleges that Henson wrote prescriptions in return for cash; postdated prescriptions; and wrote prescriptions without a medical need, without a legitimate medical exam and for people other than the ones who came to him.

If convicted, the indictment says, Henson would forfeit various sums of money including $584,000, a GMC Yukon, seven listed guns and his medical license. That is only a partial list of what would be seized.

Henson received a Kansas medical license in 1990, the indictment says.

He “deposited at least $312,402.50 in cash proceeds during the period of the alleged conspiracy” in various Kansas bank accounts, it says.

Another charge says Henson interfered with “fully identified” DEA agents executing a court-approved search warrant by calling 911 and reporting that his home was being burglarized.

Tim Potter: 316-268-6684, @terporter

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