YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former Niles doctor was sentenced Tuesday in federal court on drug charges.

Jeffrey Sutton was sentenced to six years in prison (72 months) and will have to be on probation for three years once he gets out. He will also have to pay a $20,000 fine, a special assessment of $5,200 and restitution of about $148,870.

Sutton entered into a plea agreement in January on charges that he prescribed unneeded opioids, including to a patient he was sexually involved with. He pleaded guilty to 31 counts of illegally prescribing patients opioids and other controlled substances; one count of illegally distributing controlled substances, and 20 counts of healthcare fraud.

The crimes happened between 2015 and 2022. Investigators said that Sutton kept prescribing the opioids even though he knew the drug therapy had failed; didn’t establish treatment goals or perform accurate examinations; and he admitted that he ignored warnings about overprescribing. He also ignored requests by patients to lower dosages, prosecutors said.

Sutton also admitted to engaging in sexual acts with patients to whom he directly prescribed controlled substances, including during office visits.  

Sutton ran the Internal and Physical Medicine Clinic in Niles.

The Ohio Medical Board has permanently revoked Sutton’s medical license “in lieu of further formal disciplinary proceedings.”