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Fort Harrison psychiatrist sentenced in drug possession case

VA at Ft Harrison

The VA Medical Center and Outpatient Clinic at Fort Harrison is pictured in this file photo. 

A 35-year-old psychiatrist at Fort Harrison in Helena has been sentenced in a drug possession case, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Richard E. Mitchell entered a guilty plea to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine. Additionally, Mitchell will not be allowed to prescribe any controlled substances during his probation.

Court documents state that Mitchell, in his capacity as a physician at the VA Medical Center at Fort Harrison, wrote a prescription for Norco in April. Norco contains the opioid hydrocodone and is a controlled substance. The woman Mitchell wrote the prescription for was not a patient of the VA medical center.

Mitchell was with the woman when she filled the prescription. The pharmacist recognized Mitchell and noted his unusual behavior. According to court documents, Mitchell and the woman crushed and snorted the pills after obtaining the prescription.

When questioned by law enforcement, Mitchell allegedly admitted to being in a romantic relationship with the woman and to the aforementioned abuse of the drug.

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