Retired Physician With Terminal Cancer Admits To Selling Drugs Aboard His Yacht

( — In September, retired Colorado doctor Dr. Scott Burke was arrested on drug and gun charges when local law enforcement conducted a raid on his luxury yacht. While Dr. Burke practiced medicine in Florida and Colorado, his yacht was located in Nantucket, Massachusetts. His sentencing trial was on Tuesday, June 11, where his age and physical health were taken into account when determining his penalty.

Then 69-year-old Burke was arrested when police received a call from a 33-year-old woman who was overdosing on his yacht. When caring for the woman, police discovered a semi-automatic handgun and a plastic bag containing a white powdery substance out in the open. They procured a search warrant. More than 43 grams of cocaine, over 14 grams of ketamine, a .380 pistol, and various ammunition were found on the yacht. While Burke had claimed to have license for the guns, his Florida license had expired in 2022.

After his arrest, it was revealed that Burke has stage 4 terminal cancer and is not expected to live much longer. Danielle Whitney, spokeswoman for Cape and Islands District Attorney Robert J. Galibois’ office, commented that his health and age factored into their acceptance of a plea deal. Burke originally pleaded not guilty but conceded to certain charges as part of the deal. He will serve one year probation on charges of possession of cocaine and ketamine with the intent to distribute, as well as possession of a gun and ammunition without a license.

Burke’s attorney, Hank Brennan, says that his client would have been fully exonerated if they had pursued a jury trial. However, he pointed out that they do not have the luxury of time because of Burke’s age and terminal illness. He further praised the District Attorney’s office for their thoughtful consideration and empathy, carefully balanced with advocating for the community in this case. While some say the case is more complex than it seems and he could be innocent, others believe that Burke’s wealth determined his punishment rather than his health.

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