TUPELO – Jim Bain, a former pharmacist and ex-Lee County school board member, faces up to 10 years in prison after his guilty plea Monday to selling the painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription.
Bain, 60, appeared before U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock in Aberdeen with his attorney, Ronald Michael of Booneville.
When asked if he had done what prosecutor Clay Dabbs said he did, he responded, “Yes, ma’am.”
Bain pleaded guilty to a one-count information, which is a charge from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, not an indictment, which comes from a grand jury’s hearing evidence from the government.
The difference is that with an information, the person accused and his attorney have an opportunity to work out a plea agreement with prosecutors, sometimes with leniency, rather than facing the brunt of an indictment’s charges.
Bain will not be sentenced for several months until completion of a report to guide Aycock’s decision. After the hearing, he was released on bond.
Dabbs told the court that from 2011 into early 2012, Bain “repeatedly” distributed a mixture containing a Schedule III controlled substance, hydrocodone, to law enforcement officers and a lay person.
The charge at hand stated that on Jan. 15, 2012, Bain sold hydrocodone to an individual on his pharmacy business premises after hours without a prescription, caught on video. The exchange was termed “not for legitimate medical purposes.”
Bain owned a drug store on North Gloster two blocks from the Crosstown intersection, which he had sold but where he continued to work. He ceased his work when he surrendered his pharmacy license in the wake of the federal investigation.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the government agreed not to charge Bain with anything else related to the transactions.
Aycock said the government also will make a recommendation about his sentence but that she is not bound by it.
With his guilty plea, Bain loses his right to vote, to hold public office and possess firearms, among others.
About a dozen family members and friends attended the hearing.
Bain was known as one of the region’s top independent pharmacists and was elected to the Lee County School Board in November 2010.
Speculation about him rose after his sudden resignation from the post in March 2012.