Georgia doctor pleads guilty in opioid ring

- A former Georgia medical examiner has pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to prescribe opioids in exchange for sex.

A statement released Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Atlanta says Dr. Joseph L. Burton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally distribute drugs.

The 73-year-old man from Milton, Georgia, is a former county medical examiner and forensic pathologist. Burton handled cases from seven counties.

Burton and seven other people were indicted in February. Prosecutors say he prescribed about 110,000 doses of opioid painkillers in exchange for sexual favors and affection.

Three of Burton's co-defendants are women accused of having sexual relationships with him in exchange for prescriptions. Authorities say they would fill the prescriptions and then sell the drugs.

Five others have also pleaded guilty.

Burton's sentencing is Aug. 29.

RELATED: Former medical examiner, 7 others indicted in accused opioid distribution ring

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