Spokane dentist pleads guilty to distributing opioids to former patient

Spokane dentist pleads guilty to distributing opioids to former patient
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A Spokane dentist has pleaded guilty to distributing opioid pain medications without a legitimate medical purpose.

Dr. James Stein-Sheridan Shelby, 50, pled guilty to conspiring with Timothy James Felch , 36, to distribute opioid pain medications, hydrocodone and tramadol . Dr. Shelby also pleaded guilty to three separate counts of distributing hydrocodone without a legitimate medical purpose. He faces maximum terms of imprisonment of 20 years on each charge. A sentencing hearing is set for May 15.

According to court documents, Dr. Shelby was distributing hydrocodone and tramadol to an individual identified as M.B. A warrant was issued and the DEA searched Shelby’s clinic, Indian Trail Dental Care.

When questioned by federal agents, Shelby stated he initially performed extensive dental work on M.B. and prescribed her hydrocodone when she complained of pain in the lower left side of her jaw with a lump.

Shelby stated he eventually became involved in an inappropriate relationship with M.B. and she became addicted to hydrocodone. Shelby also stated that it had been several years since M.B. had been a regular patient, and he was ultimately responsible for the prescriptions.

Shelby admitted to issuing numerous prescriptions in Felch’s name and in the names of others as a mechanism to provide M.B. with additional amounts of hydrocodone and tramadol .

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