- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A judge has revoked a south Mississippi man’s pretrial release in a case involving prescription pill distribution because the former casino worker tested positive for the use of opiates.

Federal Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker revoked bond on Monday for Joshua James Locke, 36, of Biloxi, who is suspected of using his casino job and connections in a drug-distribution conspiracy with a Georgia doctor, The Sun Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1meC9v8 ).

Locke is set for trial Dec. 8. He and another former casino worker face trial along with the doctor on charges they conspired to distribute illegal prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone in Harrison and Jackson counties starting in 2008.

They were arrested in an undercover operation named Operation Double Down Doc.

A federal grand jury indicted them in February and added charges in a new indictment filed in August.

Locke had been allowed to await trial on an unsecured bond. A court document shows Locke tested positive for the use of opiates Sept. 8, told a pretrial officer he had taken hydrocodone and then admitted he had used heroin Sept. 6. Defendants on pretrial release are prohibited from using illegal drugs and narcotics not prescribed to them.

Dr. Sanjay Sinha, 49, of Woodstock, Georgia, blames Locke for persuading him to write prescriptions for casino workers in Biloxi, even though Sinha is not licensed to practice in Mississippi, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration statement.

Sinha at first told DEA agents Locke and other casino workers drove to Atlanta for prescriptions and he met them at a hotel to write prescriptions, the DEA said. Sinha said he had met Locke while Locke worked at the Beau Rivage casino, and later at the Hard Rock casino, which are both in Biloxi, and said he began writing prescriptions for Locke and others for $100 per prescription starting in 2008, the statement said.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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