SEQUOYAH COUNTY, Oklahoma - An arrest warrant has been issued for a Sequoyah County physician following a year-long investigation by the Sallisaw Police Department and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, a news release says.

Mark Woodward, spokesman for OBN, says Dr. William Kerry Smith is facing 40 counts of distributing controlled prescription drugs outside the course of legitimate business.
 
“The investigation found evidence Dr. Smith was prescribing controlled substances to individuals who had not demonstrated a legitimate medical need for the drugs," Woodward said. "Several people who received prescriptions from Dr. Smith were women he met on the internet.” 

Woodward says the investigation began in December 2014 and involved illegal prescribing in both Oklahoma and Arkansas. 

The 40 counts against Dr. Smith involve unlawful prescriptions written for painkillers including Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, as well as the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, according to the release.

Woodward says prescription drug abuse and fraud is epidemic in Oklahoma and across the nation.

He says there were 823 drug-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2015, and nearly 70 percent involved at least one prescription drug.