Crime

Nurse, husband convicted on illegal pill charges

A former nurse for a Biloxi oncology center and her husband have been found guilty of distributing narcotics through prescriptions the wife wrote under a doctor’s name.

Sherrie Box Bennett and her husband, Jerry Dean Bennett, both of Vancleave, were convicted in a two-week trial that ended Friday in U.S. District Court.

Sherrie Bennett also was found guilty of embezzlement. She had been accused of taking more than $54,600. Court records don’t show the amount for which she was held accountable.

Judge Sul Ozerden ordered the couple taken into custody after the verdicts were read. He set sentencing hearings for Oct. 12.

The drug charges came from the investigation of prescriptions Sherrie Bennett wrote with a doctor’s signature, or stamp, while working for the Biloxi Radiation Oncology Center. The center was later consolidated with Cedar Lake Oncology Center in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

She was accused of writing illegal prescriptions for herself, her husband and relatives from sometime in 2010 through May 2013.

Drugs in question included the painkillers oxycodone, oxymorphone and hydrocone, and an anti-anxiety medication, alprazolam.

A jury in the Southern District of Mississippi found the husband and wife guilty on a conspiracy charge.

The jury convicted Sherrie Bennett on 12 counts of possession with intent to distribute outside the scope of professional practice and one count of embezzlement.

Jerry Bennett was found guilty on six counts of possession with intent to distribute.

Evidence at the trial included copies of prescriptions in the names of several people, records from several pharmacies and records on several people from the state’s prescription-monitoring program, court records show.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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