GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Georgia doctor accused of running a pill mill operation on the coast will spend five years in federal prison.
The two-day sentencing hearing for Dr. Sanjay Sinha concluded Tuesday afternoon with Sinha being taken into custody by U.S. marshals.
Federal Magistrate Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced Sinha to 60 months with three years of supervised release.
Sinha's attorney Chris Smith said the judge recommended Sinha serve his time at a facility close to his metro-Atlanta home, however, the exact location will be determined by the Bureau of Prisons.
"We respect the court's ruling," Smith said.
Sinha's mother was among those who testified on his behalf, along with a number of witnesses from the Atlanta area.
"It's definitely a tough day for Dr. Sinha and his family," said Smith. "He certainly acknowledged the wrong that he did. Hopefully, when he gets out he can become a contributing member of society."
Sinha pleaded guilty in June to one count of distributing a controlled substance. Prosecutors dropped 39 other charges against him.
Pleading guilty to a federal drug charge means Sinha will never again be able to hold a license from the DEA to prescribe narcotics. He has also lost his license to practice medicine in Georgia. Prior to his arrest, Sinha practiced internal and family medicine.
Though Sinha was remanded into custody of federal marshals immediately after sentencing, Smith said the judge will hear a request for bond, which means Sinha could be freed until a date is set to report to custody of the Bureau of Prisons.
Smith plans to file that request as soon as possible.