Pct. 4 Constable Press Release – Dr. Arrested in Mobile Pharmacy

July 21, 2010

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY – Around 10:45 a.m. on July 16, On July 16, Deputy Eli Rivera arrested Dr. Felix Nabor Sabates, 50, of Houston. Dr. Sabates passed patrol Deputy E. Rivera driving erratically at approximately 100 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone on the main lanes of US Hwy 59.  As Deputy Rivera began trying to catch up with the 1973 Dodge Challenger, the doctor increased his speed to over 100 miles per hour. Deputy Rivera activated his lights and sirens and stopped in the 23400 block of US Hwy 59 near Porter.

Felix Sabates

After approaching the vehicle, Deputy Rivera saw that the suspect was dressed in medical scrubs and appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Sebates claimed he was speeding because he was en route to Cleveland Regional Medical Center after receiving a call regarding one of his patients in that facility.

Deputy Rivera found multiple pills of different size shape and color inside the vehicle, along with a small black grinder with a white powdery substance inside. The doctor claimed patients gave him the pills for disposal after they received prescriptions for different medications in place of those.  However Lt. Mark Seals later confirmed that a DEA number is required to transport controlled substances from one location to another and additional authorization is required to transport controlled substances from one county to another.  The white powder inside the grinder field tested positive for cocaine.

Additionally, the doctor had around 60 unmarked capsules in his possession. Sebates claimed they were pills he and his nurse made for people who had heart attacks, but those pills also tested positive for cocaine. 

Poison Control assisted in identifying nearly 100 pills as Morphine. Over 80 Hydrocodone pills were discovered, as well as more than 60 Adderall. Over 50 other unidentified pills were discovered.  The doctor could not produce a prescription or any other form of documentation for any of the controlled substances in his possession.

On the scene, Sabates initially consented to having blood drawn for testing, but after reaching Kingwood Regional Medical Center, he refused. The Deputy returned to the Pct. 4 office where a warrant was obtained, allowing an EMS supervisor to draw blood from the doctor. After the blood draw, the suspect was transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

Sabates is charged with 4 counts of Possession of a control substance: cocaine (second-degree felony); Morphine (second degree felony); Adderall (second-degree felony); Hydrocodone (third-degree felony). He is also charged with reckless driving and driving while intoxicated which are misdemeanors.

Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden said Sabates’ arrest was disturbing for many reasons.

“It’s difficult to understand how someone whose life is supposed to be devoted to saving people could endanger himself and others by driving at those speeds, and apparently while under the influence of narcotics,” Constable Hayden said. “I’m sure, just like we in law enforcement, Dr. Sabates has also seen the affects of narcotic abuse and reckless and intoxicated driving.”

The Constable applauded Deputy Rivera for following through with the investigation by not blindly accepting the doctor’s explanation because of his credentials.

“He took a dangerous driver and dangerous drugs off the streets, which are both among our top priorities,” Constable Hayden said.

Sabates’ bond was set at over $70,000. He has since been released from the Montgomery County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

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