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OxyContin pills are seen at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.

KNOXVILLE — A federal judge is allowing a doctor who confessed he was nothing more than a drug dealer for hundreds of pill-seeking patients to continue to dole out prescriptions for drugs, including narcotics, over the objection of prosecutors.

In an order filed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves is refusing to budge on her decision to allow James Brian Joyner — who no longer has authority to serve as a physician in Tennessee — to practice medicine in Virginia and write prescriptions under another doctor's supervision.

Joyner was paid as much as $1,300 a day to serve as a supervising physician at a Maryville pain clinic that had no medical equipment in the entire facility and traded cash for prescriptions for painkillers with no questions asked.

Joyner pleaded guilty to a drug-trafficking conspiracy charge and should be jailed pending sentencing. But Reeves deemed his situation "exceptional," court records show, after receiving a letter from the Pioneer Hospital in Patrick County, Va., where Joyner has been working as the sole emergency room physician in that rural area.

See more at http://www.knoxnews.com/news/crime-courts/feds-judges-decision-endangers-patients-of-doctor-turned-convicted-drug-dealer-37fea387-3f1b-6ab3-e0-387632721.html

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