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California doctor facing felony drug charges

As a society, we have a certain image in our collective consciousness of what a criminal suspect should look like. Despite these beliefs, people from every race, gender and social and wealth class find themselves facing state and federal drug charges. That is certainly the case in California, as it is in all U.S. states.

Recently, a former Santa Clara County health care administrator was arrested and charged with 18 felony drug offenses. The former high-ranking administrator, who is also a doctor, is accused of trading prescription medication such as Oxycontin for money and methamphetamines. According to police reports, the Los Gatos man allegedly wrote dozens of prescriptions over two years, including 10 to individuals who had past criminal drug charges or convictions.

The investigation into the doctor followed a series of reports that were received by local police about the doctor, his home, his car and a storage facility he rented near his home in Los Gatos. The investigation reportedly yielded weapons, drugs and a drug growing room.

Although it remains to be seen how the criminal case plays out, the charges faced by the former Santa Clara health care administrator are very serious. Each charge carries significant penalties if it results in a conviction. In addition to the possibility of serving time in prison, complying with the terms of probation and paying hefty financial penalties, the doctor also stands to face other long-term consequences such as loss of his professional license and ability to practice medicine in California and any other U.S. state.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "Ex-Calif health official charged in drug case," Oct. 17, 2012

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