A federal jury convicted a former Delaware doctor Wednesday for unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances and for maintaining a drug-involved premises.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Patrick Titus, former M.D., 58, of Milford, unlawfully distributed or dispensed a variety of powerful opioids, including fentanyl, morphine, methadone, OxyContin and oxycodone, outside the usual scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Titus operated an internal medicine practice whereby he would frequently prescribe hundreds of these dangerous controlled substances in high dosages, sometimes in combination with each other or in other dangerous combinations, mostly in exchange for cash. Although these Schedule II drugs are approved for pain management treatment, Titus provided no meaningful medical care and, instead, prescribed these controlled substances to patients he knew were suffering from substance use disorder and/or who demonstrated clear signs that the prescribed drugs were being abused, diverted or sold on the street.
“Doctors who illegitimately prescribe opioid medications are fueling the country’s opioid crisis,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Not only does unlawfully prescribing opioids facilitate their diversion and misuse by patients, but it also allows doctors who commit these unlawful acts to exploit their roles as stewards of their patient’s care for their own personal profit. This verdict serves as a reminder that such abuse will be not be tolerated and that we will be resolute in our pursuit of justice.”
“Dr. Titus was convicted of illegally distributing powerful prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone and morphine for profit,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Shawn R. Ellerman of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division and head of the DEA’s operations across the state of Delaware. “His conviction is an appropriate resolution for his utter and total disregard for his ethical and legal obligations as a medical doctor, especially due to the fact that he distributed these drugs knowingly to people suffering from substance use disorder.”
“This verdict holds Dr. Titus accountable for his actions and should serve as a warning to others that the illegal prescribing of dangerous narcotics will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG will continue to work with our partners at the DEA, FDA and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate allegations of drug diversion and keep our communities safe from illegal prescription drugs.”
Titus was convicted of 13 counts of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 9, and faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison per count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The DEA and HHS-OIG investigated the case.
Assistant Deputy Chief Aleza Remis and Trial Attorneys Justin Woodard and Claire Sobczak of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmond Falgowski of the District of Delaware assisted with the case.