AP NEWS

Lincoln doctor wrote false opioid prescriptions, then bought back the drugs, authorities say

July 2, 2018 GMT

The doctor had regular patients, and then there were those who met with Dr. Jeffrey Fraser in the parking lot.

For a few times a week over several years, the Lincoln doctor prescribed hydrocodone to certain patients, then gave them money to buy the drugs and return to his practice to give the pills back to him, authorities alleged in a search warrant.

Fraser was indicted by a grand jury last week on one charge of obtaining prescription drugs by fraud and one charge of possessing a gun while addicted to a controlled substance.

In May, the Department of Health and Human Services suspended Fraser’s physician license for a year.

The indictment was part of a Department of Justice initiative to prosecute those who prescribe and distribute opioids and other narcotics, said John Higgins, the narcotics enforcement unit chief of the Nebraska U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Jan. 2, Drug Enforcement Administration agents went to Fraser’s practice, which was located at 2641 S. 70th St., because the office manager reported that Fraser had gone to work under the influence of drugs.

Fraser entered his practice, called Fraser Family Medicine, told a worker, “I’m done,” then took several pills and went upstairs, according to a search warrant.

The agents interviewed Fraser, who said he had been addicted to hydrocodone for the last year and a half and had been taking 60 pills per day.

He said he had written illicit prescriptions for his medical assistant and at least two other patients.

Investigators recovered two pill bottles with 240 hydrocodone tablets in the bottom of a Fruit Loops cereal box and a Smith & Wesson 638-3 Airweight revolver.

The agents spoke to the medical assistant the next day, who said that for years Fraser had written hydrocodone prescriptions for her until she got pregnant in April 2017.

Fraser gave her money for the drugs and allowed her to keep the change.

Other patients involved in the scheme were “treated completely different from regular patients,” the court document said. Those patients texted Fraser, who would go to the parking lot or lobby to meet them, without the patients checking in with other employees.