Sentencing postponed again in cocaine case involving dermatologist

BY JESSICA STEPHEN
jstephen@kenoshanews.com

Sentencing delays continued Friday for a Kenosha dermatologist convicted for having cocaine.

Dr. Steven Armus had been scheduled for a sentencing status hearing Friday in federal court in Milwaukee. However, records show that hearing was postponed until June 21. No reason was given.

In October 2011, Armus pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance. Six other charges were dropped. Sentencing was expected in December 2011, then rescheduled for March 2012 because Armus asked for a new date and the prosecution did not oppose a delay. Since then, sentencing status dates have been set, but no sentencing has taken place.

Armus was convicted in federal court, where he was among seven people indicted as part of a Kenosha and Racine county drug investigation that began in June 2008.

Armus faced eight charges, including seven for having cocaine in February and March 2009, more than any other federal defendant in the investigation. Much of the alleged drug distribution happened in Kenosha, although offenses were alleged in Racine, Sturtevant and Waterford, according to the indictment.

Armus also was charged in Kenosha County, but a prosecutor was forced to drop those criminal charges because of Armus’ plea deal in federal court. Armus still was responsible for a traffic ticket tied to his Kenosha County drug arrest. He pleaded no contest and was fined $186.

If convicted in Kenosha County, Armus would have faced 15 years in prison. He also could have lost his medical license.

Armus founded Great Lakes Dermatology, which has locations in Kenosha, Racine, Pleasant Prairie, Lake Geneva, Franklin and Milwaukee. He is no longer listed on the business website and at one point had taken a leave of absence.

Armus has since resumed his practice. And, according to state officials, he is legally allowed to do that because his crimes did not pose a “clear danger to the public,” according to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

The state board put restrictions on Armus’ dermatology license after he was found with cocaine in 2009. The limited license prevents him from prescribing narcotics. He also must undergo drug testing.

Further action was expected after sentencing.

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