MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – A 48-year-old naturopathic practitioner was sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Michele Nickels was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release for her role in prescribing medications over a four-year period without a medical license or a DEA registration.

Court documents show that Nickels was a licensed acupuncturist who had graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. Although she owned and operated a family wellness center between 2008 and 2022, she was never licensed to prescribe medications in Wisconsin.

Despite lacking the authority to percribe medications, Nickels did so over a four year period using a DEA registration number that was not assigned to her.

During the sentencing, Judge J.P. Stadtmueller focused on the trust that society places in licensing authorities to impose meaningful requirements in order to ensure the protection of the public.

No additional details were provided and the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Control Division investigated this case.