A former doctor pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of prescribing the powerful painkiller oxycodone to undercover operatives in exchange for cash at his Victorville clinic, authorities said.
Wendell Mark Street, 67, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to two counts of prescribing oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ciaran McEvoy said in a written statement.
He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison when he returns to federal court in Los Angeles for a sentencing hearing on Dec. 9, prosecutors said.
Street, who was then an anesthesiologist, sold oxycodone prescriptions for $300 each to an undercover California Medical Board agent and a confidential informant on Aug. 1, 2013, McEvoy said. He admitted that there was no medical need for the medications, and that he did not examine the investigator or informant.
“The investigation showed that Street prescribed 7,769 prescriptions for narcotics, including 437,000 doses of oxycodone, from November 2012 to November 2013,” according to McEvoy.
A federal grand jury indicted Street on 10 felony counts in February of 2018, officials said.
Street surrendered his medical license in 2016, prosecutors said.
As a physician, he prescribed 437,000 doses of #oxycodone in just one year. He has now pled guilty to selling prescriptions for cash. We will pursue relentlessly those medical professionals who deliberately contribute to the #opioid crisis. Thank you @DEALOSANGELES https://t.co/DpaJNmKgLR
— US Attorney Nick Hanna (@USAttyHanna) August 9, 2019