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U.S. District Court Held Arraignment for Former Elizabethtown Doctor, Jong Kim and His Office Manager, Tammy Thompson on Multiple Felony Drug Charges

By Charlotte Smith

A former Elizabethtown doctor with a history of reprimands and his reported office manager and girlfriend were arrested in 2018 on charges of operating an opioid distribution center out of a Tabor City practice. Jong Whan Kim, 72, and Tammy Thompson, 53, were arrested in June of 2018 by the Columbus County Sherriff’s Office on multiple felony charges.

Kim and Thompson’s cases are being held in the United States District Court. The two had their U.S. District Court arraignment on February 12, 2020 in New Bern with the Honorable United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan presiding over the case, according to Jean Ann, Intake Administrator and Deputy Clerk with the U.S. District Court.

Jury selection is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 13, 2020 for both cases with Judge Flanagan presiding over the cases.

Thompson was the office manager at Kim’s practice located in Tabor City and Kim’s reported girlfriend. The two are accused of managing a large narcotics sales and distribution network in Columbus and Bladen counties, according to District Attorney Jon David.

In addition to the “pill mill”, the pair is accused of using several homes in Columbus and Bladen counties to distribute narcotics and marijuana, according to the official report. Kim and Thompson were identified by multiple complaints from citizens in both counties according to Sheriff McVicker and Sheriff Hatcher.

Kim was charged with multiple counts of unlawfully prescribing oxycodone without legitimate medical reasons; maintaining a dwelling for drug activities; conspiracy to sell marijuana; trafficking opiates; and conspiracy to traffic opiates. At the time of arrest, Kim’s address was listed as 8100 Twisted Hickory Rd., Bladenboro.

Thompson was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana; sale of marijuana; conspiracy to traffic opiates and trafficking opiates; maintaining a vehicle and a dwelling for drug activities; possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana; and sale and delivery of marijuana. At the time of her arrest, Thompson’s address was listed as 2921 N.C. 410, Bladenboro.

According to law enforcement, on June 29th, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Dr. Kim’s residence located at 303 Stake Road in Tabor City and at Dr. Kim’s office located at 211 East 5th Street in Tabor City.  During the search, the following items were located inside of Dr. Kim’s residence:

Tramadol
Marijuana
Morphine Sulfate
Hydrocodone
Methadone Hydrochloride

The above seized narcotics were packaged and ready to sell; some items were packaged in unmarked medication bottles for easy distribution.  Detectives seized multiple related records from Dr. Kim’s office.

Dr. Kim’s office was located less than 1000 feet from Tabor City Elementary School.  The office lacked the normal examination equipment that you usually see in a physician’s office.  The exam rooms did not have examination tables only a chair for the patient to sit in.  Patients would pay a set amount in cash to see Dr. Kim in exchange for a narcotics prescription in their name.  The patient would then have the prescription filled at an area pharmacy.  The office had numerous waiting rooms and they were all full when Detectives executed the search warrant.

During the investigation, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics Detectives reported utilizing an undercover agent to purchase ounces of marijuana from Tammy Lynn Thompson, on numerous occasions. The undercover agent also purchased 115 hydrocodone tablets from Thompson, according to their report.

In addition to the criminal charges, Kim has faced reprimands from the N.C. Medical Board. Kim did not contest a 2013 reprimand from the N.C. Medical Board in which he was accused of having improper relations with a patient.

After the arrests in 2018, Kim’s secured bond was set at 5,580,000.00. Thompson’s secured bond was set at $760,000.00 and moved to $3,540,000.00 secured after additional charges against the two were made. There have been reports Kim is out on bond, but BladenOnline.com staff could not get confirmation from officials on the reports.

Following are the reported charges from 2018 against the two suspects.

Dr. Jong Whan Kim

Jong Whan Kim, born February 3, 1947:

Charges:
1 Felony count of Conspiring to Sell/Deliver Marijuana
2 Felony counts of Conspiring to Traffic Opium/Heroin
1 Felony count of Unlawful Prescribing of a Controlled Substance Without a Legitimate Medical Purpose
1 Felony count of Maintaining a Dwelling for Use, Sale, or Storage of Controlled Substance
4 Felony counts of Trafficking Opium or Heroin
2 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance
1 Felony count of Possession with the Intent to Sell and/or Deliver Marijuana
1 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule IV Controlled Substance
2 Felony counts of Selling a Controlled Substance Within 1000 feet of a School

The additional charges are as follows for Jong Whan Kim:
4 Felony counts of Trafficking Opium or Heroin
2 Felony counts of Selling a Controlled Substance Within 1000 feet of a School
2 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance
1 Felony count of Possession with the Intent to Sell and/or Deliver Marijuana
1 Felony count of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule IV Controlled Substance

7 Felony counts of Selling a Controlled Substance Within 1000 feet of a School
2 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance
1 Felony count of Possession with the Intent to Sell and/or Deliver Marijuana
1 Felony count of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule IV Controlled Substance
4 Felony counts of Trafficking Opium or Heroin

Tammy Thompson

Tammy Lynn Thompson, Born January 19, 1965

Charges:
6 Felony counts of Sell/Deliver Schedule VI Controlled Substance
7 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Sell and/or Deliver Marijuana
4 Felony counts of Maintaining a Dwelling for Use, Sale, or Storage of Controlled Substance
1 Felony count of Maintaining a Vehicle for Use, Sale, or Storage of Controlled Substance
7 Felony counts of Trafficking Opium or Heroin
1 Felony count of Conspiring to Sell/Deliver Marijuana
2 Felony counts of Conspiring to Traffic Opium/Heroin
7 Felony counts of Selling a Controlled Substance Within 1000 feet of a School
2 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance
1 Felony counts of Possession with the Intent to Manufacture, Sell, and/or Deliver Schedule IV Controlled Substance

Related article:

More Felony charges for Dr. Kim and Thompson 

 

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