Possible plea date set for doctor George P. Tkalych on Florida drug trafficking, DUI charges

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 21, 2013 

A possible plea date was set for local doctor George P. Tkalych during a Thursday hearing at the Walton County Court House in DeFuniak Springs, Fla.

Tkalych is scheduled for another hearing March 7, according to the Florida State Attorney's Office.

Tkalych is charged with trafficking illegal drugs, possession of controlled substances without prescriptions, and DUI with property damage, authorities said. He is out on a $25,000 bond.

Assistant State Attorney Evin Dyess said Tkalych may enter a plea on that date, although the State Attorney's Office has not received any word from Tkalych's Florida lawyer, Clay Adkinson, on what plea will be entered, she said.

"It's looking like he'll enter a plea on that date, but we haven't made any plea offers at this point," Dyess said. "I'm still getting some information from his attorney as to some drug programs that he could enter, but we haven't made any offers."

Adkinson was unavailable for comment Thursday.

If Tkalych's case goes to trial, the date for that trial will be set on March 11.

Tkalych, an ear, nose and throat doctor, closed his local practice of almost 30 years on Dec. 31. The office was closed Jan. 31 to give patients time to retrieve medical records.

Tkalych was arrested Nov. 29, 2012, after he was involved in a two-vehicle wreck while driving to his second home in Destin, according to Florida State Attorney records. His Chevy Tahoe sent another vehicle into a ditch in Walton County. During the investigation, he refused a drug and alcohol test, and state troopers called area police to verify his sobriety.

After he was arrested and charged with DUI, Tkalych allegedly requested an officer retrieve high-blood pressure medication for him. That medicine was the only medication the doctor mentioned using, and one of two medical issues that were reported during Tkalych's sobriety tests.

However, investigators reported that six more drugs were found inside Tkaylych's two briefcases, including more than 130 hydrocodone pills, 4 grams of Lunesta, 4 grams of Cialis, 6 grams of Nexium and 32 grams of Escitalopram. Two blood-pressure medicines -- 14 grams of Benicar and 4 grams of Bystolic -- were also listed.

Police said they also found a .38-caliber pistol and a prescription pad. The gun was legally registered.

Officers reported that before requesting an attorney, Tkalych admitted to taking one or two of the hydrocodone pills sometime before the crash.

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