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Opioid overdose victim's family speaks about Scott County doctor accused of running pill mill

David Bruce Coffey was sentenced to 40 months in prison for running a pill mill in Oneida.

MARYVILLE, Tennessee — Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the reported prison sentence from 40 years to 40 months.

After a federal judge sentenced Dr. David Bruce Coffey to 40 months in prison for running a pill mill operation out of his clinic in Scott County, a father who lost his daughter and ex-wife to opioids said that sentence is not long enough. 

Tim Webb is now an advocate and has written several books about his loss tied to opioids. Webb lost his ex-wife on Thanksgiving Day in 2017. In May of 2018, his daughter died of an opioid overdose. 

His daughter, Brooke, became addicted to opioids after receiving an ulcerative colitis diagnosis. It's a painful medical condition, and she was prescribed opioid painkillers. 

Soon after, Webb said his daughter started taking morphine, then heroin. One of her heroin injections had fentanyl in it, and she died. 

"It will change a person, losing a love one," Webb said. "The wound will start to heal over, but it'll always be there." 

Webb said when he sees doctors like Coffey who disregard their oath and run operations to hand out opioids, it aggravates him. 

"They're not a doctor," Webb said. "They're basically, in my way of thinking, they're murderers."

DEA agents said Coffey distributed nearly 5 million pills over eight years. He pleaded guilty to distributing 60 illicit pills, in a deal with prosecutors. They argued for a more lenient sentence because of Coffey's cooperation and because of his guilty plea. 

"They need more than three years," Webb said. "There's untold thousands of addicts he has helped create." 

Webb said he'll keep working to honor his daughter and his ex-wife's memory, by helping people affected by opioids. 

In the meantime, he said law enforcement should continue to go after doctors, abusing their privileges. 

"You need to be prosecuted and you need to be put in prison for the rest of your life," Webb said. "Because it will eventually end up in death." 

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