BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A former Gadsden-area pharmacist and school board member was sentenced Wednesday for drug distribution conspiracy and tax crimes, U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona announced Thursday.

Nathan Thomas Carter, 41, of Gadsden, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge R. David Proctor. Carter pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute controlled substances and three counts of filing false tax returns. He was also ordered to forfeit $110,620 in illicit drug proceeds and pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Serice with $124,547 in unpaid taxes.

According to the plea agreement, Carter conspired with others to distribute controlled substances like oxycodone and hydrocodone between 2015 and late 2021. From February 2018 to 2023, Carter served as the pharmacist in charge at Midtown Pharmacy in Gadsden.

Records show Midtown Pharmacy ordered at least 80,000 more oxycodone pills than the pharmacy dispensed to patients, according to the plea agreement. Carter redirected the opioid pills and sold them to other drug distributors. He would frequently take distributor bottles from his pharmacy to his house and put the pills in plastic bags for resale.

Carter admitted to earning about $450,000 in illicit income that he didn’t report on his income tax returns, according to the plea agreement. Authorities found more than $110,000 in cash during the execution of a search warrant at Carter’s house.

The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS investigated the case.