Ann Arbor doctor makes a plea deal
Prison time likely in painkiller case




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April 13, 2006 - A doctor scheduled for trial in two weeks on charges of illegally selling prescription painkillers pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

As part of a plea agreement, Dr.Stuart Bilyeu, 45, of Ann Arbor pleaded guilty to one count of illegally distributing controlled substances, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Pratt said.

As part of the sentencing agreement, Bilyeu had to admit that he prescribed over 60,000 dosages illegally.

He could be sentenced up to 60 months in prison, Pratt said. "It's extremely likely there will be a term of imprisonment here," Pratt said, quoting U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland.

Bilyeu is to be sentenced July 13. He remains free on $10,000 personal bond. His lawyer Douglas Mullkoff did not return a phone call for comment.

On Aug. 9, Bilyeu was indicted following an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which acted on a slew of complaints.

According to a federal affidavit, the DEA in Detroit began receiving telephone calls in October 2003 from an array of people including relatives of Bilyeu's patients, pharmacists and law enforcement officers about his prescribing practices. The DEA began an investigation that lasted until May 2005.

There were concerns about the amount of drugs he prescribed, as well as the combination of drugs: Vicodin, Valium and Xanax with the muscle relaxant Soma; as well as combinations of Oxycontin, Hydromorphone, Duragesic, morphine and Soma.

Soma is a highly abused drug; when taken with other narcotics, it simulates the effect of heroin, the affidavit said.

"This isn't a case where some guy made a mistake with one or two prescriptions," Pratt said.

Jan Yerigian, 58, of New Boston said that Bilyeu treated her son. Yerigian said her 36-year-old son injured his back in 2000; after three surgeries, he became addicted to painkillers and Bilyeu continued to prescribe them.

"Oh, thank you, Lord," she said Wednesday, reacting to the plea deal. "That's good."

Yerigian said she wished the sentence was longer, but "at least he's out of the office now." She said her son's first doctor gave him a prescription for Vicodin after his surgeries, but told him he should begin taking Tylenol to deal with pain. So instead, "My son just got rid of him, and got Dr. Bilyeu," she said.

Her son became an addict with Bilyeu writing prescriptions for painkillers and her son's medical insurance footing the bill. She added that her son is no longer addicted to drugs.

When a chain pharmacy declined to fill more prescriptions for Yerigian's son because the pharmacists suspected drug abuse, an independent pharmacy gave him refills after Bilyeu wrote a letter vouching that her son needed the drugs, Yerigian said. "I called Dr. Bilyeu and I threatened him," she said. "I told him I was going to call the police. I was just giving him so much grief ... he was killing my son."

Contact CECIL ANGEL at 313-223-4531 or [email protected]




Feds allege illegal drug prescriptions




September 2005 - A 45-year-old Ann Arbor doctor and convicted drug dealer has been indicted on federal charges of illegally prescribing more than 1 million doses of narcotic painkillers.

Dr. Stuart W. Bilyeu was charged in a 10-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Detroit with distributing Xanax, Vicodin, Valium, OxyContin and methadone. Over a 15-month period ending in April 2004, he prescribed 777,000 doses of Vicodin, 330,000 doses of Xanax and 156,000 doses of Valium, the grand jury charged.

Bilyeu was the No. 1 purchaser of 10-mg doses of Vicodin in the state in 2003 and part of 2004. He ranked 14th highest in the United States in prescribing other Vicodin pills and had about 1,400 patients.

In October 2003, the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Bilyeu, after pharmacists and local police raised questions about the high number of prescriptions he was issuing.

People could get narcotic prescriptions using a Blockbuster card as an ID, the DEA said.

Melvindale Detective Danny Cadez posed as a patient in July 2003 at Bilyeu's office. His visit consisted of the doctor "looking at and touching his back for approximately five seconds. Dr. Bileu then asked Cadez, 'What do you want?'" said a 28-page affidavit filed by DEA investigator Roberta E. Goralczyk.

The DEA compared Bilyeu's prescription rate to seven doctors who advertise themselves as pain management doctors -- and found Bilyeu had prescribed more Xanax, Vicodin, Valium and OxyContin than the seven doctors combined.

Abuse of prescription drugs by young people remains a serious problem. The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study of drug use by students reported in December that 9.3 percent of high school seniors had used Vicodin, while the abuse of OxyContin by high school seniors rose from 4 percent in 2002 to 5 percent in 2004.

"Considering the addictive potential of this drug (OxyContin), which is a powerful synthetic narcotic used to control pain, we think that these are disturbingly high rates of involvement by America's young people," said Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator.

The DEA said one of Bilyeu's patients, Steven Ridner, died Feb. 12 from an accidental drug overdose. A Wayne County autopsy showed high levels of methadone.

Bilyeu was arraigned and released on a $10,000 personal bond Aug. 19. U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland set an Oct. 14 trial date. His attorney, Douglas Mullkoff, didn't return calls seeking comment Friday.

Bilyeu had been investigated in the early 1990s and was charged by Michigan authorities in 1992 with illegally selling prescriptions and marijuana. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to lifetime probation, the DEA said. His medical license was suspended.

In 1994, the lifetime probation was changed to a three-year probation. In 2000, Bilyeu was reissued a medical license, and the DEA issued him a new license to dispense controlled substances.

Bilyeu opened the Down River Pain Clinic on Telegraph in Taylor and moved it to Detroit earlier this year.





Dr. Bilyeu charged




Sept 2005 - A 45-year-old Ann Arbor doctor and convicted drug dealer has been indicted on federal charges of illegally prescribing more than 1 million doses of narcotic painkillers.

Dr. Stuart W. Bilyeu was charged in a 10-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Detroit with distributing Xanax, Vicodin, Valium, OxyContin and methadone. Over a 15-month period ending in April 2004, he prescribed 777,000 doses of Vicodin, 330,000 doses of Xanax and 156,000 doses of Valium, the grand jury charged.

Bilyeu was the No. 1 purchaser of 10-mg doses of Vicodin in the state in 2003 and part of 2004. He ranked 14th highest in the United States in prescribing other Vicodin pills and had about 1,400 patients.

In October 2003, the Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Bilyeu, after pharmacists and local police raised questions about the high number of prescriptions he was issuing.

People could get narcotic prescriptions using a Blockbuster card as an ID, the DEA said.

Melvindale Detective Danny Cadez posed as a patient in July 2003 at Bilyeu's office. His visit consisted of the doctor "looking at and touching his back for approximately five seconds. Dr. Bileu then asked Cadez, 'What do you want?'" said a 28-page affidavit filed by DEA investigator Roberta E. Goralczyk.

The DEA compared Bilyeu's prescription rate to seven doctors who advertise themselves as pain management doctors -- and found Bilyeu had prescribed more Xanax, Vicodin, Valium and OxyContin than the seven doctors combined.

Abuse of prescription drugs by young people remains a serious problem. The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study of drug use by students reported in December that 9.3 percent of high school seniors had used Vicodin, while the abuse of OxyContin by high school seniors rose from 4 percent in 2002 to 5 percent in 2004.

"Considering the addictive potential of this drug (OxyContin), which is a powerful synthetic narcotic used to control pain, we think that these are disturbingly high rates of involvement by America's young people," said Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator.

The DEA said one of Bilyeu's patients, Steven Ridner, died Feb. 12 from an accidental drug overdose. A Wayne County autopsy showed high levels of methadone.

Bilyeu was arraigned and released on a $10,000 personal bond Aug. 19. U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland set an Oct. 14 trial date. His attorney, Douglas Mullkoff, didn't return calls seeking comment Friday.

Bilyeu had been investigated in the early 1990s and was charged by Michigan authorities in 1992 with illegally selling prescriptions and marijuana. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to lifetime probation, the DEA said. His medical license was suspended.

In 1994, the lifetime probation was changed to a three-year probation. In 2000, Bilyeu was reissued a medical license, and the DEA issued him a new license to dispense controlled substances.

Bilyeu opened the Down River Pain Clinic on Telegraph in Taylor and moved it to Detroit earlier this year.





Doctor indicted in painkiller scheme




August 2005 - A federal grand jury in Detroit indicted an Ann Arbor doctor Tuesday for illegally selling prescription painkillers.

Dr. Stuart Bilyeu, 45, repeatedly prescribed drugs to patients with little or no examination and no significant complaints of pain, according to a criminal complaint issued in July. Bilyeu either wrote prescriptions or gave the drugs to the patients himself from January 2003 to May 10 at his Down River Pain Clinic in Detroit.

There had been complaints from Bilyeu's patients and relatives of his patients that Bilyeu was involved in more than one patient overdose and one patient overdose death, the complaint said.

A conviction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison or a $1-million fine or both.







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