- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A physical therapist has pleaded guilty to breaking into patients’ homes in the Scobey area and stealing prescription pain medication and apparently replacing it with aspirin or Tylenol.

Kevin Criswell pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to acquire a controlled substance by subterfuge during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Susan Watters, The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/1iSXGFo) reported. Watters scheduled sentencing for Sept. 10. Sentencing guidelines do not recommend a prison term.

Criswell, 31, was charged after people who had undergone physical therapy at the Scobey hospital in early 2012 noticed their pain medication wasn’t working. When they contacted the pharmacist, they were told their pill bottles contained over-the-counter pain medication and not the opiates they were prescribed.

A resident told the Daniels County sheriff that Criswell had tried to enter the residence of one physical therapy patient, knowing that patient was not at home.

In July 2012, Criswell acknowledged stealing hydrocodone and oxycodone pills from 62 patients, court records said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McCarthy said there were 91 victims.

Criswell, a former University of Montana basketball player who now works at Orthopedic Rehab in Libby, told the judge he has completed a three-month outpatient treatment program, four months of counseling and is in a recovery group.

He told Watters that he understood he could lose his physical therapy license.

The Board of Physical Therapy Examiners has not received information on Criswell’s case, said Marcie Bough, who is also executive director of the Board of Pharmacy.

A co-defendant, assistant physical therapist Cale Handran of Scobey, is scheduled to plead guilty on May 19, the Gazette reported.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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