In November of 2017, A Claremore doctor, Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jeremy Thomas was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Rogers County District Attorney’s Office. When investigators contacted the Dr., they were surprised that Dr. Thomas admitted to writing prescriptions to patients for hydrocodone pills with the understanding the patients would give him some of the pills in return.
Thomas gave investigators permission to search his phone and that they found text messages revealing he would engage in drug deals at various locations in Claremore, including Hillcrest Hospital in Claremore where he performed surgery.
Dr. Thomas was employed by Hillcrest Medical Systems as an orthopedic surgeon where he would perform up to 12 procedures a week. He is no longer employed there.
Federal prosecutors then charged the doctor and several of his patients with one count each of drug conspiracy and 10 counts of distribution of hydrocodone. The federal indictment listed five other people, Jeffrey Lee Koger, 47, of Claremore; Joseph Marcus Jones, 36, of Claremore; Toni Dawn Martin, 49, of Owasso; Shawn Del Martin, 50, of Owasso; and Chad Lee Choat, 46, of Claremore.
Dr. Jeremy Thomas was convicted of drug conspiracies in five separate cases, according to U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. He was employed as an orthopedic surgeon at the time, records show.
He faces a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison and $2 million in fines for each count.
“The defendant, Dr. Thomas, risked the lives of his patients by performing an estimated 2,500 surgical procedures while under the influence of opioids. Dr. Thomas exploited the special Doctor-patient relationship to feed his addiction. He became a drug dealer hiding behind a medical license,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Thomas and his patients diverted more than 13,000 opioid pills during a two-year period, a news release states.
Thomas is scheduled for sentencing on February 28, 2019.
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