It is well-known that many doctors use cocaine. This is mainly attributed to the fact that they make enough money to sustain the expensive habit. Few doctors, however, go on to go into business with the dealers they cop from. Dr. Steven Armus is such a doctor. Four years ago, he admitted to participating in a major Wisconsin cocaine ring. People who have gone down in connection with Armus have spent years behind bars now, but the dermatologist has not only avoided federal prison time, but has also kept his medical license and practice. This is the result of his cooperation as a confidential informant. In this role, he set up his patients to be busted.
In 2009, police found an ounce of coke, a shotgun and $4,422 in a car driven by Armus, after he was pulled over for speeding. His charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine was dropped when federal prosecutors brought forth more serious charges against him. His blow addiction drove him to volunteer as the bank for a big time drug dealer in Wisconsin, sometimes using funds from his Great Lakes Dermatology practice. FOX 6 NOW reports:
He was so caught up in a drug ring, he once gave his dealer $30,000 to buy drugs. According to court records, he even wrote checks directly from his medical practice. He admits he even sold some of that cocaine to other Wisconsin doctors, including a Racine allergist and neurosurgeon — both of whom are still practicing, too.
He pleaded guilty in 2011, and faced a minimum of ten years in prison. To avoid sentencing, Armus agreed to work with the feds as an informant, an arrangement he proposed himself. As a rat, he didn’t set up major drug traffickers. He set up his own patients. Three of his former patients have been convicted on state drug charges after Armus convinced them to sell him cocaine. FOX 6 reports:
All three patients were charged with state drug offenses after they gave Dr. Armus cocaine. But here’s the kicker — the patients weren’t big-time drug dealers. They were set up by Dr. Armus, who started working as a confidential informant shortly after his own legal troubles. Court records show he offered to help federal agents by going undercover. He’d help cops catch other drug dealers and in return, a judge might go easy on him.
Armus’ day in court has been postponed more than a dozen times in the four years since his indictment. After having to be drug tested 56 times a year, the Medical Examining Board removed restrictions on Armus’ medical license. he is still free to practice in Wisconsin. Arizona and Illinois had previously revoked his license, in a move to protect the public.
Armus’ incarcerated patients have filed a complaint against him with the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, claiming their former doctor “violated their trust and their privacy by accessing their medical records to set up drugs buys.”
His sentencing has been delayed yet again until November 23rd.