She Sought Police Help to Flee Yacht. Then Came the Raid

Retired physician Scott Anthony Burke allegedly found with drugs, guns, prostitutes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2023 12:00 PM CDT
She Sought Police Help to Flee Yacht. Then Came the Raid
Large yachts are pictured in Nantucket's harbor.   (Getty Images/Ianmacman)

A 911 call about a woman in distress on a yacht anchored in Nantucket Harbor has led to drug trafficking and weapons charges against the vessel's owner, a retired physician. Nantucket police say they received a call shortly before 8am Tuesday with a "report of a female party, on board a yacht, who did not want to be there, was under the influence of narcotics, and possibly has overdosed," per the Nantucket Current. When authorities arrived, yacht owner Scott Anthony Burke, 69, led them to the woman, who was in his bedroom, according to a police report. There, authorities allegedly observed a handgun and a bag of cocaine in plain view, per the Boston Globe. There were also multiple rounds of ammunition on the floor, police say, per the New York Post.

The woman, who "appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance" and "stated that she did not feel safe," was removed from the vessel and taken to a hospital, according to the report. Hours later, around 3:30pm, authorities raided the 70-foot motor yacht Jess Conn, allegedly finding guns, drugs, and prostitutes, per the Current. Burke, who has a wife and two children, now faces charges that include trafficking, possession to distribute, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, and four counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device, per WCVB.

Authorities say they initially found a .380 Smith & Wesson Shield and a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson, along with ammunition, per the Maritime Executive and the Current. Burke's license to carry in Florida had expired a year ago, according to the report. As the search continued, authorities also allegedly confiscated 43.4 grams of cocaine and 14.1 grams of ketamine. Burke has addresses in Key Largo, Florida, and in Denver, where he once ran a rehabilitation clinic. He currently serves as CEO of Injury Finance, a Colorado-based medical insurance company he founded two decades ago, per the Post. His yacht is registered in the Cayman Islands. It has been in Nantucket for two weeks following an Aug. 23 journey from Newport, Rhode Island. (Read more Massachusetts stories.)

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