Macomb doctor flooded streets with pain meds, feds say
Detroit — A St. Clair Shores doctor flooded the streets with more than 4 million doses of powerful pain medications and other drugs that are being abused amid the nation’s opioid crisis, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Dr. Bernard Shelton, 60, of St. Clair Shores Medical was indicted on 21 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, a charge that carries a mandatory-minimum 10 years in federal prison.
Shelton appeared in federal court Tuesday wearing handcuffs and ankle chains and dressed in plaid pajama pants and a wrinkled shirt. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
The indictment is the latest crackdown on the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Shelton, a native of Jamaica and a Canadian citizen in the U.S. on a green card, and others participated in a scheme between 2013 and 2016 to prescribe drugs that ended up being abused by patients or sold for profit on the streets, prosecutors alleged.
The drugs Shelton prescribed included oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, alprazolam and diazepam.
Shelton would see patients at his medical clinic and write multiple prescriptions after a cursory examination, or no examination, according to the indictment.
The prescriptions were not medically necessary and Shelton would bill the patients’ insurance for reimbursement, the government alleged.
During the conspiracy, Shelton prescribed more than 2 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone, powerful pain medications, according to the indictment. In all, he wrote more than 60,000 prescriptions, prosecutors alleged.
His medical license was suspended for 15 months in July and he was fined $10,000, according to state records.