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State trooper implicated in doctor-shopping investigation got 270 prescription pain pills in 73 days

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BATON ROUGE - During a State Police Commission hearing this week where Trooper Michael Reichardt is appealing his 720-hour suspension, it was revealed that Reichardt got caught up in a doctor-shopping investigation in north Louisiana filling prescriptions for hundreds of powerful painkillers.

Lawyers for State Police said Reichardt filled prescriptions for 270 percocet pills in 73 days. Percocet is a controlled substance that is highly addictive and used to treat pain.

"On June 1, 2020, he advised CID that over six months, he received prescriptions for 470 Percocets and 44 tramadol per month from two different doctors," a lawyer representing State Police told the commission.

Reichardt was once the face of the beleaguered Troop F, where a Black man died in State Police custody in 2019. Reichardt was never charged and appeared to have avoided internal inquiries after being made a witness against Dr. David Burkett.

Burkett is facing numerous felonies for allegedly writing the fraudulent prescriptions. At the time of his arrest in September 2020, his bond was set at $1 million. To arrest Burkett, authorities used information from those identified as being routine clients of his. In the sealed arrest warrant for the doctor, authorities wrote that Trooper Michael Reichardt admitted to getting fraudulent prescriptions.

Burkett became a criminal target after investigators tracked prescriptions he wrote.

During a State Police Commission meeting this week, Reichardt asked for the commission to toss out his 720-hour suspension because it was not issued within a time frame required of State Police finding out about it. The Commission denied the request, and his appeal will be heard on April 13.

The investigation that netted Reichardt as one of the purchasers of the pills found he was seeing a cardiologist for a leg injury he had. He would routinely go to the doctor's house to pick up the prescriptions.

Reichardt's lawyer said his client has only been a witness in this case and was never criminally charged.

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