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Gray doctor in federal drug case complains about conditions in Butts Co. Jail

Dr. Thomas Sachy's lawyers are also disputing prosecutors' claims that his opioid prescriptions killed two patients

A Jones County doctor accused of writing illegal prescriptions that killed at least two patients is trying again to get out of jail.

Lawyers for Dr. Thomas Sachy filed a motion last week in U.S. District Court asking a judge to hear their arguments.

He and three staff members at his Gray office, including his mother, were arrested on federal drug charges in June after a year-long investigation.

According to his motion, Sachy is being held in the Butts County Jail.

Among other arguments, Sachy's lawyers claim he's lost 40 pounds in six months due to poor and unhealthy jail food and may become too weak to assist his attorneys.

According to court documents, his lawyers also claim:

  • After Sachy complained about the jail food, guards served him food and drink 'unfit for human consumption,' including 'meat that somebody had taken a bite out of' and 'rank, rancid and spoiled milk.'
  • "Dr. Sachy has been served with applesauce in a styrofoam cup with an odd taste," documents said. Sachy believes it may have been tainted with urine.
  • At least one jail official 'is withholding his mail, screams at him over minor infractions of rules' and wakes him up in the middle of the night.
  • He has not been allowed any mail, except for post cards, and was wrongfully denied any books or reading materials for more than five months.
  • Sachy can't keep a pen in jail because other inmates are stealing his pens. "Since the pens are all the same and look exactly alike, this makes it impossible to detect who may have taken his pens," the documents said.

On Tuesday, Butt County Sheriff Gary Long defended his jail and said his officers have not targeted Sachy.

"I would put my jail up against any jail in the state of Georgia," Long said. "I would put our food against any. Our jail is the cleanest."

But Sachy's lawyers claim that his problems in jail are hurting his ability to prepare for trial.

They call his treatment in jail 'an intentional effort to punish Dr. Sachy.'

They argue he is not a flight risk and should be freed to await his trial -- scheduled for August.

They also dispute statements by prosecutors that Sachy's prescriptions killed two patients -- identified in the motion only as 'MGA' and 'WGD.'

They claim the autopsy for one showed that the person died of natural cases and the second autopsy found only non-toxic levels of oxycodone.

Another section of the Sachy motion argues he is being prosecuted 'maliciously and vindictively.'

They cite the fallout after his bitter 2008 divorce, when Sachy and his fiance created a website about "Official Corruption in Georgia." He was jailed for contempt of court and appealed his contempt conviction to the Georgia Supreme Court, which rejected his arguments.

Sachy's lawyers claim the GBI medical examiner's office in Dry Branch, the Jones County Sheriff's Office, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit prosecutors and judges, the FBI and other federal agencies have all showed 'ill will and bad feelings' toward him.

Sachy's lawyers are asking a federal judge to release him from jail until his trial or to hold a hearing on whether he should remain in custody. No trial date has been set.

Sheriff Long says 'there's no substance' to Sachy's complaints.

His jail holds about 225 inmates and about 65 of them are federal prisoners. He says his instructions to his jail officers are, "You consider them innocent, and you treat them as humans."

The sheriff adds, "I eat the food myself" -- even the applesauce.

Note: The video in this story is from a previous story about Sachy from July 2018. It does not contain the updated information in this article.

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