Doctor Linked To Overdose Death Case Involving Teacher’s Aide
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A former teacher’s aide accused of selling lethal doses of drugs that left four young people dead may have gotten thousands of pills.
Almeda Beth Sullivan, 50, faces charges in the death of one person who overdosed at her home. She is also linked to the overdose deaths of three other people. According to police, the deaths spanned from 2007 to 2011, including two that occurred on the same day.
CBS4’s Jennifer Brice talked to a father who claims his former doctor was tied to the illegal prescription drug operation. He says he and his daughter were patients of Dr. Janette Javier, who is named Sullivan’s arrest affidavit. The father said he also knows Sullivan.
The overdose death of 21-year-old Carter Higdon at Sullivan’s Centennial home led investigators to Sullivan, linking her to three more deaths with the drugs she was allegedly supplying.
“She was manipulative,” said the father, who didn’t want to be identified.
The father said he’s known Sullivan for 10 years and calls her “Alley.” He said he’s also Javier’s former patient.
“I used Dr. Javier for a doctor for a very short time until I realized that she was dealing out way too many prescriptions,” the father said.
He said many of the prescriptions were written to his daughter, who police also interviewed.
“My daughter and Alley had obviously filled prescriptions from Dr. Javier together,” he said.
The father said the prescriptions were for specifically OxyContin, and up to 100 pills a month in high doses.
“I wanted to monitor how she would take them, but I didn’t have a chance. Within a week or week and a half after she would get the prescription they’d be gone.”
Court documents say in a span of five years Sullivan got between 4,000 and 5,000 pills each year from prescriptions written by multiple doctors. It was tracked on the state’s prescription monitoring program.
“In hindsight there may have been a lot of red flags as to the amount of drugs that became available to her through, in particular, one doctor,” Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said.
Javier surrendered her medical license in 2009 after an investigation. Documents say she was formerly treating patients with excessive amounts of narcotics, even distributing prescriptions in parks, coffee shops and through the mail.
According to the affidavit, witnesses also told police Sullivan would take them to different doctor offices, pay for their visits and coach them on what to say about their pain so the doctors would write narcotic prescriptions.