Doctor Convicted In Death Of Patient
DENVER - Dr. Joel Miller, who owned and operated High Country Medical in Craig, CO, was convicted by a jury today in the District of Colorado on six counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose, one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose resulting in death, and one count of providing false information on his Drug Enforcement (DEA) Registration Application.
Dr. Miller was initially arrested in August, 2013 pursuant to a 34 count Federal Indictment, which also included charges of Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering. The investigation of Dr. Miller’s “pill mill” operation dated back to 2009, and was brought to the attention of Federal authorities by Investigators with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Department. Dr. Miller prescribed excessive amounts and dangerous combinations of prescription narcotics to patients across the Western slope of Colorado. Dr. Miller had residences in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO.
“Prescription drug abuse is at an epidemic level”, stated Barbra Roach, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver Division. “Those who would profit from the illegal distribution of these potentially very dangerous drugs will be held accountable. There is very little difference between “medical professionals” who engage in illegal distribution of prescriptions and street level drug dealers when the actions of both cost lives.”
The conviction of Dr. Miller today marks the first such conviction by jury trial in the District of Colorado. The date for final sentencing will be established on November 16, 2015. Due to the conviction on the unlawful distribution without legitimate medical purpose resulting in death, Dr. Miller faces 20 years up to life imprisonment.In addition to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, the Internal Revenue Service, Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector (HHS-OIG), the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and the (CO) Police Department were involved in this successful investigation and prosecution.