Illinois Dentist Charged with Tampering with Drugs Administered to Patients and Other Crimes
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Robert Bell, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Chicago Division, and U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris of the Central District of Illinois announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Phillip Jensen, DMD, 61, of Rochester, Illinois, on Feb. 1, 2022, charging him with eight counts of drug diversion, eight counts of acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, one count of tampering with consumer products, and three counts of false statements related to health care matters.
Jensen was arrested Feb. 7, 2022, and appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins at the federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois, for an initial appearance, at which the indictment against him was unsealed.
The indictment alleges that starting as early as December 2019 and continuing to at least Aug. 17, 2020, Jensen, a registrant authorized by the DEA to dispense controlled substances, adulterated the fentanyl that was supposed to be used as anesthesia during his patients’ surgeries. Specifically, the indictment alleges that prior to surgery, Jensen pierced the fentanyl vials, removed half the fentanyl, and set it aside for his personal use. He then refilled the vials of fentanyl with another solution and administered the adulterated fentanyl, which was now at half its labeled strength, to his patients.
The indictment alleges Jensen committed multiple additional federal offenses related to this conduct, including eight different incidents of drug diversion in which he knowingly distributed a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, outside the scope of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purpose. It also alleges eight incidents of Jensen acquiring fentanyl by fraud in that he obtained fentanyl from the vials and concealed his removal of fentanyl by refilling the vials with another substance and replacing the safety caps.
The indictment further alleges one count of tampering with consumer products in that Jensen administered the fentanyl he adulterated to a specific patient which resulted in serious bodily injury to that patient.
Finally, the indictment includes three counts alleging that Jensen knowingly and willfully, falsified, concealed, and covered up the nature and extent of the services he provided to patients of his practice, in connection with the delivery of health care benefits involving a health care benefit program.
During Jensen's initial appearance on Feb. 7, 2022, the government requested that Jensen be detained. Magistrate Judge Schanzle-Haskins issued a temporary order of detention for Jensen pending a detention hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2022.
If convicted, the statutory penalties for the alleged crimes charged are a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment for drug diversion, up to four years’ imprisonment for acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, up to 20 years’ imprisonment for tampering with consumer products, and up to five years’ imprisonment for a false statement related to health care matters.
The DEA, with the assistance of the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas McMeyer and Sierra Senor-Moore are representing the government in the prosecution.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.