PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A Houston, Texas, physician is the first person publicly implicated in a drug conspiracy stretching from the Lone Star State to the Bluegrass State.
The Aug. 1 indictment of Dr. Linda J. Roos, on a charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, was revealed Friday, when U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram agreed to unseal the charges against her.
According to the indictment, Roos prescribed 127,251 units of Schedule II narcotics to 10 Kentucky residents between September 2006 and July 2011, or roughly 219 pills per person per month. Schedule II narcotics include medications such as oxycodone and methadone.
The indictment notes that the patients would travel to Houston to visit Dr. Roos, but that she did not always require in-person visits.
“To accommodate some of her Kentucky patients, Dr. Roos did not require them to see her in person each month,” the indictment says. “Every other month, the patient could just call Dr. Roos’ office, complete and fax in a one-page form and he or she would receive another prescription for the same pills.
“Dr. Roos did require prepayment of her fee.”
The indictment also discusses the involvement of a Pike County pharmacist, who gave “special attention” to Roos’ patients. The patients would be waited on personally, either by the pharmacist or an office manager. Payments would be made in cash, but the money would be kept segregated from other business funds and would ultimately be deposited into the pharmacist’s personal bank account.
A copy of the indictment was released following Ingram’s ruling, with the identities of codefendant’s blacked out, presumably because they have not yet been located. By comparing the size of the blacked out portions of the indictment, it appears as many seven other people have been indicted, with at least some facing additional charges of distribution and possession.
The indictment does not appear to be Roos’ first run-in with controversy.
In August 2010, she was barred from treating workers compensation patients by the Texas Workers Compensation Commisioner Rod Bordelon, because of concerns about her use of opioids in treatment.
On April 8, 2011, Roos entered into an agreement with the Texas Medical Board, requiring her to contact the Texas A&M Health Science Center Rural and Community Health Institute’s KSTAR program within 90 days for the purpose of scheduling an assessment of Dr. Roos’ practice of medicine. The action was based on Dr. Roos’ “violation of rules regarding treatment of chronic pain; unprofessional conduct; failure to use diligence in her professional practice; nontherapeutic prescribing; and writing prescriptions for a person who is a known abuser of narcotic drugs.”
If found guilty of the conspiracy charge, Roos could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.