PROVO A Salem doctor was arrested Saturday, accused of trading prescription medications for sexual favors.
Investigators say that Max K. Cannon, 49, wrote numerous prescriptions for Lortab, Hydrocodone and OxyContin in exchange for sex with female patients, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.
Cannon has worked as an independent general physician at several Utah Valley hospitals for the past 15 years, including Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo and Mountain View Hospital in Payson.
Cannon's wife, Kathy, who spoke to the Deseret Morning News, said the situation is not as it seems. "I know that it's not what it appears to be," she said. "I wish everyone could give you the benefit of the doubt. It's not what it looks like."
The family said they have hired a Salt Lake attorney.
Cannon was arrested Saturday morning in a sting operation conducted by investigators from the Utah County Attorney's Office. He was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of exploitation of a prostitute, conspiracy and several allegations of distribution of a controlled substance.
However, during a bail hearing hearing Monday, 4th District Court Judge Claudia Laycock ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to warrant an arrest for exploitation of a prostitute and conspiracy.
Cannon bailed out Monday afternoon just before 5 p.m., on $7,500 cash or bond bail.
Cannon's license with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is "active" until Jan. 31. However, he hasn't submitted anything to renew it, said Becky Brown, spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce, which includes DOPL.
Cannon was not stationed at one particular hospital, and the hospitals he has worked out of have suspended his privileges "pending the outcome of the investigation," said Janet Frank, spokeswoman for IHC's Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The sentiment was echoed by Kimball Anderson, chief operations officer at Mountain View Hospital in Payson.
The sex-for-drugs trading allegedly began in April when Cannon gave one of his patients, on whom he had performed a stomach surgery, $100 to get a hotel room in Provo, according to the affidavit.
The woman, whom police interviewed in jail on a drug-related arrest, told police she and Cannon had sex twice that day. She said he gave her a prescription for either Lortab or Hydrocodone, according to the affidavit.
The "trading" with that woman happened six more times from May to June, according to the affidavit.
Another former patient said her relationship with Cannon began after hernia surgery in July, according to the affidavit. She told police Cannon continued to give her prescriptions for Percocet months after her surgery, according to the affidavit. He also called and sent text messages asking if she needed more drugs, it said.
Police encouraged the woman to call Cannon and try to re-establish a relationship, which culminated with a planned meeting Saturday morning at the Provo Hampton Inn, according to the affidavit.
Cannon agreed to meet the woman and give her OxyContin if "she went all the way with him," according to the affidavit.
Investigators got two rooms on either side of the hotel room and wired the room with cameras and microphones.
The woman told the man to get undressed while she changed in the bathroom.
When Cannon brought out the drugs, police entered and arrested him, according to the affidavit. They had to use two pairs of handcuffs because of "his size," according to the affidavit. He is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds.During questioning, Cannon told the officers he was there to drop off a prescription to an old friend, according to the affidavit. He denied knowing about any other woman, according to the affidavit.