A federal jury found Dr. Merideth Norris guilty of 15 counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances. Norris was originally arrested and indicted in October 2022 as one of the first arrests and charges made by the New England Prescription Opioid Strike Force.

Norris was a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine licensed in the State of Maine. According to evidence presented at trial, Norris illegitimately distributed oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl and other Schedule II controlled substances to her patients from approximately December 2021 to approximately June 2022. Norris prescribed opioids to patients with histories of opioid abuse and to patients who tested positive for narcotics that they had not been prescribed. According to court documents, Norris also provided controlled substances to patients who appeared to be distributing the drugs into the community. Prior to her indictment, Norris was given notice that her prescribing practices appeared to be outside the usual course of professional practice. Norris’ prescribing practices resulted in Walmart pharmacies issuing a nationwide ban on all prescriptions written by her and landed her before Maine’s Board of Osteopathic Licensure. However, according to court documents, Norris deceived the Board about her prescribing practices. 

Norris now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years on each count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances. According to Norris’ indictment, she may be required to forfeit her DEA registration and any property connected with the foregoing convictions.

The DOJ has remained steadfast in its commitment to prosecute health care professionals involved in the illegal distribution of opioids and other controlled substances.  Providers should take extra care when prescribing opioids and other controlled substances, which includes maintaining the proper documentation.  

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all sizes and types in white-collar criminal matters and healthcare matters. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.