Oklahoma and drug news seem to go hand-in-hand in recent years: Tulsa has been dubbed the meth capital of the world; Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation due to tough drug laws; Every legislative session, voters approve the easing of drug crime penalties; The state is at the center of the opioid crisis; Voters approved medical marijuana. The list goes on and on. 

While voters have eased state drug crime penalties and have voted to legalize medical marijuana, there are still plenty of ways for a person accused of illegally distributing drugs to be criminally charged.

Last week, two Oklahoma physicians--one in Tulsa and one in Oklahoma City--were charged in separate cases with federal drug crimes after being accused of illegally prescribing opioids and conspiring to illegally prescribe drugs.

In the Tulsa case, Dr. Christopher Moses and two of his employees at the Southside Medical Clinic were charged with conspiracy to illegally distribute opioids. According to an indictment, Moses and the two employees worked together to illegally prescribe Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Carisoprodol, Clonazepam, Morphine Sulfate, Hydrocodone, and Tramadol. These alleged acts reportedly took place from January 2010 to January 2018, and investigators say at least three patients died as a result of Dr. Moses's alleged overprescription of opioid painkillers.

In the Oklahoma City case, Dr. David Quy, who practiced out of Family Medical Center in Warr Acres, was charged with 55 counts of illegally prescribing Schedule II opioids and two counts of identity theft. Quy is accused of writing prescriptions for opioids, including Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, for his employees, telling them to fill the prescriptions and bring the pills back to him. The identity theft counts are based on the accusation that Quy wrote prescriptions in the names of minor children of employees with the knowledge that those prescribed medications were not intended for the children and would be used by someone else. The acts are alleged to have occurred from November 2014 until April 2019. In May, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs issued an emergency suspension of Quy's license to prescribe controlled substances.

Federal drug distribution crimes carry stiff penalties. If convicted of conspiracy or illegal distribution of opiods, the physician faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.