Opioid Tablets

This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. 

A Wilmington doctor was convicted of illegally distributing opioids to five people outside of his normal practice Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to court records, federal prosecutors argued Dr. Charles Esham, of Wilmington, issued Oxycodone to the five people over the course of several years. They believe the pills were sold by the people who received them.

The initial 76-count indictment in 2017 accused Dr. Esham of illegally prescribing more than 7,000 Oxycodone pills.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Dr. Esham is due to be sentenced in April 2020.