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FARMINGTON -- A Farmington doctor has been busted for prescribing drugs after surrendering his license. Thirty-two-year-old Jeremy McCandless was arrested Monday on federal charges with 29 counts of unlawful distribution of Oxycodone.
Federal authorities say McCandless would prescribe the drug to family and friends without proper authority and would even sell the drugs himself.
In March 2008 McCandless was licensed to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances in the state of Utah. According to court documents, two months later, the University of Utah School of Medicine graduate was terminated from his residency program because he falsified a medical record.
According to a court documents from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, McCandless was required to notify the department of his termination, which he eventually did, but he did not surrender his registration number. Instead, he continued to work as a physician and prescribe Oxycodone to dozens of family and friends.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Vernon G. Stejskal said, "He would meet family and friends and/or family members in parking lots, at a golf course, just various places, and make deals with them to prescribe controlled substances."
Stejskal says from December 2008 through March 2009, McCandless would also receive controlled substances himself by writing prescriptions to another person; that person would then bring the drugs back to him, and he in turn would pay them then sell the drugs for street value.
"He was not acting as a doctor, prescribing controlled substances in the ordinary course of professional practice, which is what is required of a doctor. So in that sense he was no different than anyone else giving drugs illegally," Stejskal said.
After McCandless was arrested on Monday, he made an initial appearance in court where he pleaded not guilty to the 29 charges.
Wednesday he was released by the judge after it was determined that he was not a flight risk. He is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 19. If he is convicted, the maximum penalty for each charge is 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.