A former Rawlins doctor who gave up his license in 2018 will change his not guilty plea in a federal criminal case for illegally prescribing opioids and other controlled substances.

David Ray Cesko is scheduled to enter a guilty plea before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in Cheyenne on Feb. 26, according to federal court records.

The docket entry did not give any details about the plea.

According to the 32-count indictment handed up by the federal grand jury in March, he was charged with dispensing the medicines from 2014 to 2017 often "without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice."

The drugs included oxycodone, alprazolam, tramadol, promethazine with codeine, amphetamine/dextroamphetamie, and hydrocodone, according to the indictment.

Some of those counts include dispensing the controlled substances to people under 21 and to pregnant women under 21.

Depending on the charges, each count is punishable up to 20 years in prison, while the counts of dispensing the controlled substances to persons under 21 are punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

If his case had gone to trial and he had been convicted on all counts, Cesko could have faced a sentence of up to 860 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $32 million.

Previous disciplinary actions started in 2005 when he agreed with the board to take a courses on prescribing controlled substances and record keeping, and be subject to random unannounced reviews of patient records, according to the Wyoming Board of Medicine.

In 2010, Cesko entered into another consent degree for two years because his compliance wasn't properly monitored.

In 2017, the board suspended his license saying he "posed an imminent threat to the health, welfare and safety of the people of Wyoming." The board found he was inappropriately prescribing controlled substances to patients for other than legitimate purposes, prescribing them to known abusers, and offering drugs in exchange for sex.

On Aug. 18, 2018, Cesko voluntarily relinquished his physician license and the Wyoming Board of Medicine accepted the relinquishment that day.

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