Doctor charged in 3 Doors Down guitarist’s drug death

Fairhope, Alabama, doctor Richard Snellgrove is facing six charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance in the death of former 3 Doors Down guitarist Matthew Roberts, federal court records show.

Roberts died in a Wisconsin hotel room Aug. 20. His father told the website TMZ at the time he believed his son had died of an accidental overdose.

The indictment says relatives of Roberts went to Snellgrove to get drugs for him, including methadone, hydrocodone and lorazepam. The relatives acquired the drugs for him on four occasions from October 2011 to Aug. 13.

On Aug. 18, the indictment says, Snellgrove prescribed fentanyl patches directly to Roberts, a patient since 2004 and a friend.

“It is disheartening when trusted professionals are engaged in the diversion of controlled substances,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam said in a news release. “Doctors have an obligation to ensure that prescription medications are getting into the hands of legitimate patients.

“This investigation is the result of DEA’s continued commitment to hold accountable those who participate in illegally dispensing controlled substances in our communities.”

Roberts, a Moss Point native, was with his father, Darrell Roberts, for a charity event when he died. The guitarist had finished a rehearsal about 1 a.m. Aug. 20, then the two returned to adjoining hotel rooms. Detectives woke up the father about 9 a.m., he told TMZ, to say his son was dead.

Darrell Roberts often traveled to gigs with his son to “run interference,” he told the Sun Herald in August.

“He didn’t do public very well,” Darrell Roberts said. “It was to the point where it was crippling. He didn’t like people staring at him. It’s hard for the average person to understand that. I’m his father, and I went with him often.”

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99