Va. dentist driving drunk with 'pharmacy on wheels' arrested

By Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com assistant editor

January 22, 2020 -- A dentist in Virginia was arrested for driving while intoxicated after he crashed his truck and got into a tussle with responding police. Prosecutors described the vehicle as a "pharmacy on wheels" because he was found carrying a bag filled with 150 pills, according to news reports.

In addition, two guns, brass knuckles, a laptop, an iPad, two cellphones, and a notebook with a log of dollar amounts and account codes for the mobile payment service platform Venmo were recovered from the truck driven by Matthew Mower, DDS, on January 10.

The 40-year-old dentist was also charged with distributing a schedule I or II drug, possessing a gun while engaged in drug distribution, and possessing a gun in public while intoxicated.

Dr. Mower remains in jail awaiting the outcome of a January 24 bond hearing, according to reports.

When police arrived at the scene of the accident, Dr. Mower was sitting on a guard rail. He had crashed his pickup truck into the back of another car. The dentist was slurring his speech, had trouble balancing, and made odd statements, like he was prescribed the pistol that was found on his back seat, police said.

Dr. Mower said he had a history of seizures and had taken tramadol, Ritalin, and Zoloft. He said the bag of pills that were in his pocket contained Ritalin and tramadol, and he had prescriptions for them.

He was told he was being arrested after he failed a field sobriety test. He refused to put his hands behind his back so he could be handcuffed, so responding officers knocked him to the ground. He continued to resist. After using an electroshock weapon on him twice, they were able to arrest him, police said.

Dr. Mower faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted on the charge of having a gun while engaged in drug distribution. For this reason, prosecutors called Dr. Mower a flight risk and asked on January 17 that the court keep him in jail until his trial.

The judge set Dr. Mower's bail at $10,000 secured bond and ordered him not to leave the state, undergo a drug screening and accept any recommended treatment, and seek employment. Dr. Mower said he sold his share in Radford Family Dental to his partners in March.

The prosecution said it would appeal the setting of bond, so Dr. Mower remains in jail until a hearing is held on the matter on January 24.


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