Dr. Keith Morris

Federal investigators allege that a Franklin County physician illegally issued more than 100 prescriptions for medications classified as controlled substances over a two-year period.

Dr. Keith D. Morris, 54, Krakow, is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with four felony counts of distribution of medications “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.” The indictment was released this week.

A copy of the indictment obtained by The Missourian alleges that between April 2008 and July 2010 Morris “knowingly and intentionally” wrote 113 prescriptions for four controlled substances  — amphetamine salts, oxycodone, hydrocodone and alprazolam.

A total of 13,330 pills were distributed through those prescriptions, according to the four-count indictment.

Count one alleges that 34 prescriptions for 2,880 pills were written for amphetamine salts between Jan. 5, 2009, and July 21, 2010.

Count two alleges that between April 26, 2008, and Oct. 6, 2009, 38 prescriptions were issued for 6,220 pills of oxycodone.

Between July 19, 2008, and July 23, 2010, 2,730 pills containing hydrocodone were issued through 23 prescriptions, count three of the indictment alleges.

Count four alleges that 18 prescriptions were written for a total of 1,500 pills containing alprazolam between Aug. 3, 2008, and July 23, 2010.

Deputies with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department began the investigation after obtaining evidence last year, then turned the case over to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and/or up to a $1 million fine on the amphetamine salts and oxycodone distribution charges.

The maximum penalty on the hydrocodone distribution charge is 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $500,000. Distribution of alprazolam carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Morris worked 11 years at the Mercy Medical Arts Group, Family Medicine, in Union, before joining Patients First Health Care in August 2010 and began seeing patients at the company’s Eureka Urgent Care which opened that same month, according to a press release issued by the doctors group.