A Santa Ana psychiatrist was sentenced Monday to more than four years in federal prison for accepting cash to write prescriptions for addictive narcotics like opioid oxycodone to a drug dealer to sell on the streets, the United States Attorney’s Office in California said in a news release
Robert Tinoco Perez, 57, of Westminster, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances back in February, authorities said.
The doctor wrote prescriptions for patients he had never met or examined, and created fake medical records for customers to provide justification for their prescriptions, the Attorney’s Office said.
In his plea agreement, the doctor admitted to writing prescriptions for 240 pills of Adderall, 300 pills of Roxicodone and 250 pills of Norco for fictitious patients between December 2017 and January 2018, authorities said.
One of the customers was an undercover officer.
Perez sold the prescriptions with the fake names to co-defendant William Jason Plumley, 41, of Huntington Beach, for at least $1,400, officials said, citing Perez’s plea agreement.
Plumley sold the prescribed drugs, in addition to heroin and methamphetamine, to the undercover officer, according to the news release.
He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in October 2018, and is now serving a 70-month federal prison sentence for selling drugs and prescriptions written by Perez, the Attorney’s Office said.
Oxycodone and hydrocodone Opioid pain medications are legal if prescribed by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes, but can be misused, leading to addiction, overdose and death.
There were 2,199 overdose deaths involving opioids in California in 2017—a rate of 5.3 deaths per every 100,000 people, according to federal research institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The rate of prescribed opioid-related deaths in California are among the lowest in the country, and have decreased steadily since 2014 to 2.8 deaths per every 100,000 people, the institute said.