March 15, 2000


 Kansas veterinarian sentenced for illegal drug sales

Posted Mar. 1, 2000

A former member of the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners was convicted in November 1999 of illegally selling anabolic steroids to a client over a two-year period.

Dr. Mark A. Schwarm was found guilty by a jury of nine counts of felony distribution of Winstrol-V, an animal drug used illicitly as a performance enhancer by humans. In January he was sentenced to 30 days work release and three years probation, and fined $5,000.

According to a petition filed by the Kansas attorney general's office on behalf of the Kansas BVE, Dr. Schwarm sold approximately 336 30-ml bottles of the anabolic steroid to Jack L. Cooper between April 1, 1996 and April 22, 1998 (see JAVMA, April 1, 1999, page 992).

Cooper, a client of Dr. Schwarm's, plead guilty to five counts of felony illegal possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 21/2 years in the Kansas state penitentiary, said Detective Howard Shipley of the Reno County sheriff's department.

In 1997, Dr. Schwarm was Kansas Veterinarian of the Year. He was a member of the state board of veterinary examiners until June 1998, when his term expired. At that time, he was under investigation by police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The conviction is under appeal, and, at press time, Dr. Schwarm continues to work at his mixed practice. A hearing before the Kansas BVE to determine his license status is scheduled this month.

Dr. Schwarm sits on the Kansas State University Alumni board of directors, but is considered an "inactive" member, according to a university official, adding that his term expires in June. He is also a member of the Kansas Animal Health Board, and his term expires in July 2001.