Beaufort News

Beaufort doctor targeted in DEA investigation

A Beaufort doctor is at the center of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, officials said Friday.

"(David) Vincent Rhodes, M.D., is on an indefinite leave of absence from Lowcountry Medical Group," according to a statement from the Port Royal practice. "Lowcountry Medical Group is not the focus of the investigation, but it is cooperating fully."

Earlier this week, the group's chief executive officer, Turner Wortham, confirmed that investigators had been to the office at 300 Midtown Drive and said Lowcountry Medical Group cooperated fully.

A Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman confirmed the Multi-Jurisdiction Drug Task Force assisted the DEA. A DEA spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Phillips of Charleston confirmed Friday that he is the prosecutor for the case but said no charges have been filed. He declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

Neither Rhodes nor an attorney said to be representing him could be reached for comment Friday.

Rhodes is a board-certified family practice physician who received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, according to the Lowcountry Medical Group website.

He was licensed in 1994 to practice medicine, and his credentials are active, according to the S.C. Board of Medical Examiners. No disciplinary action has been previously taken against Rhodes, and he is considered "in good standing" with the board.

He is also listed as the supervising physician for Lowcountry Urgent Care, which opened at 180 Sea Island Parkway on Lady's Island in 2010, according to its website. An employee who answered the clinic's phone Friday said Rhodes was not in, and she would not say if Rhodes was still with the clinic.

Hunter Kerrison, spokeswoman for Lowcountry Medical Group, said the other doctors at the practice will handle appointments for Rhodes during his leave of absence, and the practice will remain open and operate as usual.

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