A Niles physician will be spending 72 months behind bars after illegally prescribing his patients controlled substances.

Sixty-five-year-old Jeffrey Sutton was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko after pleading guilty to illegally prescribing patients opioids and other controlled substances, illegally distributing controlled substances and healthcare fraud.

Sutton was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and must pay a $5,200 special assessment, a $20,000 fine and restitution of $148,870.79.

According to court documents dated between January of 2015 and January of 2022, Sutton knowingly prescribed medically unnecessary controlled substances to patients outside of the usual course of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose.

Sutton fraudulently billed healthcare benefit programs for office visits and the controlled substances illegally dispensed.

Additionally, Sutton admitted to engaging in sexual acts with some of the patients he prescribed these controlled substances to including during office visits, as well as delivering dozens of oxycodone pills to the home of one of his patients he was engaged in a relationship with outside of the course of treatment without a prescription.

The investigation was conducted by the Cleveland offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.