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Drug doc enters second guilty plea

COVINGTON - A former Covington doctor who previously pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine and later sought to have the plea withdrawn entered a guilty plea for a second time earlier this week.

The defendant, Dr. Alan Kaiser, 43, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of controlled substances and 60 counts of unlawful dispensation of controlled substances, which is writing bogus prescriptions without a valid medical reason.

He was sentenced to 35 years, with the first six years to be served in prison and the balance to be served on probation. Kaiser was also ordered to pay more than $50,000 in fines and surcharges and banished from Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties except when reporting for probation. He cannot practice medicine throughout the duration of the sentence, meaning he could be as old as his mid-70s before he will be eligible to resume his medical career.

Kaiser, who had been on staff of Newton General Hospital since 1996, traded prescriptions of Xanax and Loritab in exchange for large quantities of pseudo-ephedrine tablets, according to law enforcement officials.

Kaiser was arrested at his office in Covington in January of 2003 after a transaction with an undercover East Metro Drug Enforcement Team agent in which he traded prescriptions for more than 2,500 pseudo-ephedrine tablets.

Later that month, EMDET agents raided a rental warehouse on the Access Road where they said they found materials and equipment used by Kaiser to produce methamphetamine.

In 2004, Kaiser pleaded guilty to the offenses. As part of his sentence, it was stipulated that Kaiser not be allowed to practice medicine again in Georgia or in any contiguous state for the rest of his life.

"(Kaiser) appealed that, claiming that his sentence was void because the court imposed a condition of probation that would last beyond the term of his sentence," said Newton County District Attorney Ken Wynne. "Basically, since the sentence was 30 years, the ban on practicing medicine couldn't last beyond 30 years."

Wynne said that the case went before the court of appeals twice and his office was preparing to take the case to trial when Kaiser decided to enter the new guilty plea.

Though his original recommendation was for Kaiser to spend the first 10 years of the sentence in prison, Wynne lowered that to six years in exchange for a five year increase in the total sentence.

"Looking at defendants with similar circumstances, they would have been paroled out before now, so (Kaiser) has already served more time than the usual case. We thought that was only fair," Wynne said.

Since he has already been imprisoned for more than five years, Wynne said that Kaiser would likely be released sometime in January.

Staff Reporter Crystal Tatum contributed to this story.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com