Arrest Warrant Issued For Two Shawnee Pain Doctors
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma - Arrest warrants were filed Friday afternoon for two Shawnee pain doctors.
Dr. Jeri Ellis and Dr. Dennis Roberts are charged with unlawful distribution of opioids.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Agency conducted an undercover investigation at the Ellis Family Clinic last year and found that painkillers were prescribed to an OBN agent who provided no prior medical records and did not complain of being in pain.
Following up on a complaint by a nurse who worked with Ellis, a female OBN agent went to see Roberts at the Ellis clinic last February. Documents show Roberts gave the agent an exam, then made her wait several hours before someone gave her a prescription for Hydrocodone, signed by Ellis, whom the agent never saw.
The agent went back for a follow-up appointment and was prescribed another Hydrocodone prescription signed by Ellis, but during that visit the agent never said she felt pain.
“It’s a minority within a minority, but it’s unfortunate that a very small number of prescribers can cause the damage and injury that they do,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.
The reason Roberts could not prescribe the OBN agent opioids is because he was placed on probation by the state medical board in 2014. Complaints against him include allegations that his overprescribing led to the death of one patient, a serious car accident for another and a baby addicted to opioids after he prescribed pills to its breastfeeding mother.
Still, Ellis accepted Roberts into her practice, and evidence shows she has been signing off on the prescriptions his patients receive.
Hunter says this behavior is unacceptable, and the two doctors now face five years to life in prison if convicted.
“We will continue to hold prescribers accountable when they’re being reckless and essentially functioning as drug dealers,” he said.
Hunter asks that anyone who suspects a doctor of overprescribing or improperly prescribing opioids to patients, please call his office at (405) 521-3921. To reach his website, click here.