News Release
August 12, 2009
Contact: Mike Root
Number: 801-524-5031

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Individual with 29 Counts of Unlawful Distribution of Oxycodone
Alleged Conduct Occurred After Individual Had Surrendered License to Practice Medicine and Administer Controlled Substances in Utah

AUG 12 -- SALT LAKE CITY – Jeremy R. McCandless, age 32, of Farmington, will be in federal court in Salt Lake City Wednesday for a detention hearing following his arrest on a federal indictment charging him with 29 counts of unlawful distribution of oxycodone.

According to a Sept. 3, 2008, voluntary Non-Disciplinary Surrender Stipulation and Order before the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, McCandless was first licensed to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances in Utah in March 2008. In May 2008, according to the stipulation, McCandless was terminated from his residency program. According to the stipulation, although the residency program was terminated, McCandless failed to notify DOPL that he had been terminated from the residency program and he continued to work as a physician and prescribed drugs to family and friends. As a part of the stipulation reached with DOPL, McCandless agreed to surrender his licenses to practice as a physician and to prescribe and administer controlled substances in Utah.

Federal authorities believe McCandless continued to write prescriptions for oxycodone, a schedule II controlled substance under federal law, after surrendering his medical license. The federal indictment, returned Aug. 5, 2009, charges individual counts of distribution of the controlled substance starting in December 2008 and continuing through March 2009.

"The egregious behavior alleged in this indictment exemplifies the type of criminal conduct DEA's newly formed Tactical Diversion Squad is designed to root out.  This individual was passing himself off as a doctor when in fact we believe he is just another drug dealer," stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Frank Smith.

McCandless, who also may have lived recently in American Fork, Cottonwood Heights, and Salt Lake City, was Monday morning in Farmington and had an initial appearance Monday afternoon where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. A detention hearing is set for Wednesday at 9 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells. A three-day jury trial in the case is set for Oct. 19, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. Each count of the indictment carries a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

The case is being investigated by the DEA and the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant Utah Attorney General Vernon G. Stejskal, who is a Special Assistant United States Attorney.