OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter on Thursday announced the state’s multicounty grand jury issued three indictments on two separate cases involving alleged unlawful prescribing of controlled drugs involving two Shawnee doctors, and an illegal gambling operation in Candadian County.
Dr. Jeri Ellis and Dr. Dennis Roberts, both practicing physicians at Ellis Family Practice in Shawnee, were each charged with one count of unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), Hunter's office reported.
The indictment accuses Ellis of signing prescriptions for pain medication for patients seen and medically evaluated only by Roberts, who previously lost his prescribing authority.
An undercover investigation by agents with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control corroborated numerous complaints. The Attorney General’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation.
Attorney General Hunter said the state’s multicounty grand jury is essential to assisting law enforcement in investigations and prosecutions in cases like this.
“The minority within a minority of doctors who misuse their prescribing authority are a threat to the lives of Oklahomans,” Attorney General Hunter said. “That is why my office remains dedicated to assisting local and federal law enforcement agencies through resources like the multicounty grand jury to put an end to these abusive practices. I appreciate those serving in law enforcement, who assisted in this investigation and those serving on the multicounty grand jury for their dedication to this public service.”
The indictment will be filed in Pottawatomie County Friday.
In 2014, the Oklahoma Medical Licensure Board placed Roberts on five years’ probation for a CDS violation and restricted his practice to family medicine, after a previous investigation into his over prescribing habits. According to the specific terms of his probation, he was ordered to not practice pain management, or prescribe any controlled drugs.
Read the order suspending Roberts from the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, here: http://bit.ly/2F6y1ZL.
In January during its monthly meeting, the state medical licensure board verified the complaints against Ellis for a CDS violation and failure to maintain records. She has since agreed to voluntarily restrict her practice.
Read the order from the board, here: http://bit.ly/2Covebf.
The multicounty grand jury also charged Terry Lahti with one count of engaging in commercial gambling.
An anonymous tip referencing illegal gambling led to an investigation of Lahti’s business, Big Dick’s Roadhouse, by the Oklahoma City Police Department Vice Enforcement Unit and authorities with the Oklahoma ABLE Commission (ABLE).
During a search of the establishment, investigators allegedly discovered a locked door, leading to a private room containing eight slot machines. Investigators also allegedly found advertisements for poker games and other gambling paraphernalia.
According to court records, Lahti currently has pending charges in Oklahoma County from a 2017 arrest for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a weapon while committing a felony and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Lahti’s indictment will be filed in Canadian County.
All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.