Doctor sentenced to five years for selling oxycodone

SEATTLE -- A Snohomish doctor accused of running an "open-air drug market" was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for selling oxycodone.

Hieu Tu Le admitted to writing oxycodone prescriptions for cash and selling the addictive pills to people without a legitimate medical need, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Le, who had been licensed to practice medicine in Washington since 2004, previously worked as an anesthesiologist at Valley General Hospital in Monroe. After leaving that job in 2012, prosecutors say Le ran a medical marijuana clinic in Seattle.

In March 2012, the 40-year-old began selling oxycodone prescriptions, according to prosecutors. He also picked up prescriptions for the drug at an Everett pharmacy and sold the pills to people without prescriptions.

"This defendant essentially operated an open-air drug market out of the parking lot of his medical clinic," Durkan said in a Thursday news release. "As a medical doctor he knew the damage of addiction but sold drugs to feed his greed."

As part of his plea agreement, Le forfeited money and a Toyota Highlander he bought with illegal drug money. He'll also spend three years on supervised release when he gets out of prison.