Former Sterling doctor prescribed drugs that contributed to three fatal overdoses

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A former northern Illinois doctor has been sentenced to federal prison for prescribing drugs that prosecutors say contributed to three deadly overdoses.

Richard Ng of Sterling prescribed at least one controlled substance to each of his patients after every visit, even though he saw signs they were misusing the drugs, the (Sterling) Daily Gazette reports.

Investigators say three patients who died had the drugs in their bodies.

Ng was sentenced Friday to 7 years and 3 months in prison. He must report on April 7.

The 65-year-old pleaded guilty in September to dispensing a controlled substance outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Ng offered his “deepest apologies” to those affected. He said he had no explanation for his actions.