14 face federal drug trafficking charges in California

A total of 14 individuals were arrested recently in California after being accused of operating seven sham medical clinics. They now face federal drug trafficking charges. According to authorities, the 14 who were arrested diverted a minimum of two million prescription pills to the streets, including addictive narcotics, such as oxycodone.

According to two indictments that a federal grand jury returned in late July in Los Angeles, those who took part in the conspiracy were able to profit from illegal prescriptions that were given out for no legitimate medical purposes. This was reportedly done through several clinics that opened and closed periodically. The alleged clinics were essentially pop-up style clinics.

Those arrested on drug charges include a man who is said to have led the scheme and controlled six of the seven sham clinics. He reportedly hired corrupt physicians, who let the conspirators issue fake prescriptions under the doctors' names in exchange for payments. In addition, the conspirators are accused of stealing the identities of physicians who did not want to take part in this scheme.

The individuals facing federal drug trafficking charges may proceed to trial to fight the charges. Alternatively, they may seek to negotiate plea deals with prosecutors, which may lead to lighter charges or more lenient sentences than what would result from guilty findings at trial. Either way, an attorney can help a defendant who is accused of committing a serious drug crime in California to pursue the most personally favorable outcome while ensuring that his or her rights are not violated during the criminal proceedings.

Source: Hollywood, CA, Patch, "Hollywood Pair Arrested In 'Sham Clinic' Drug Ring", Aug. 3, 2017

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