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Retired doctor facing gun, cocaine, ketamine charges in raid of his luxury yacht after report of woman’s possible overdose

Scott A. Burke (LinkedIn)

Scott A. Burke (LinkedIn)

A retired Colorado doctor has been arrested on gun and drug charges after police responded to a report of a woman who possibly overdosed and said she didn’t feel safe while aboard his luxury 80-foot yacht anchored in the island town of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Scott A. Burke, 69, was charged with trafficking cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute ketamine, and possession of a firearm and ammunition without a license. He was also charged with possession of a large-capacity feeding device.

The Boston Globe reported the divorced father of two adult children pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday. Burke’s attorney Hank Brennan said his client did medical relief work in Rwanda and has donated money to college scholarship funds, the Globe reported. Brennan said Burke has late-stage cancer and likely won’t live long enough to see the case resolved, the Globe reported.

Brennan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Law&Crime.

A criminal complaint obtained by Law&Crime outlined the Tuesday incident aboard the Jess Con, an 80-foot boat anchored in Nantucket Harbor. Police were sent there to meet a Harbormaster and the U.S. Coast Guard on a report of a woman on the boat who did not want to be there, was under the influence of narcotics, and possibly overdosed.

Once aboard, investigators were met by the owner, Scott Burke. Police told Burke why they were there, and he led them into his bedroom. In the bedroom, police found a woman who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance and said she did not feel safe. The Nantucket Fire Department arrived and rendered medical aid.

In the bedroom, in plain view, an officer saw a black semi-automatic handgun on a bookshelf. On the bedstand, to the right of the bed, was a pink plastic baggie containing a white powdery substance.

The gun was loaded with a 9 mm round in the chamber and magazine. Police also found a short-barrel rifle on the top of the bookshelf. Burke confirmed he owned the boat and the guns and said he had a license to carry the firearms. Police said he had a license, but it was expired and was only good in Florida.

During a search of the vessel, local investigators, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Coast Guard found a bag of cocaine in a drawer and another in a safe. Investigators also found a small container with cocaine on a table and recovered bags containing a pink powdery substance — ketamine, an anesthetic. All told, the total weight of cocaine was 43.4 grams, and the total weight of ketamine was 14.1 grams.

In addition to the guns, police found 9 mm and .380 ammunition in a drawer.

Details about the feeding device charge were not made clear in the complaint.

The Colorado Board of Medicine lists Burke as a doctor between 1981 and 2021 in Colorado.

He founded the Denver-based company Injury Finance, “the industry leader in medical funding” serving “an “uninsured and under-insured population in need of medical treatment,” the Globe reported. The company said Burke has “no affiliation” with it.

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