On July 7, 2014, a Visalia doctor pleaded guilty to prescribing highly addictive prescription drugs to people who did not need them in connection with a drug trafficking case that stretched up to the state of Washington.
Eugene Brown, 61, admitted he prescribed large quantities of oxycodone and hydrocodone without medical necessity. He also admitted to depositing the cash he received from each prescription into numerous bank accounts to evade reporting requirements.
This case, investigated in part by the Medical Board of California (MBC) and the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Investigation, was part of a distribution ring that involved at least 13 people who obtained prescriptions from Brown and also paid people to obtain prescriptions from Brown. After the prescriptions were filled, the pills were shipped to other states.
"These drugs are highly addictive and the illegal sale and use of them contributes to criminal activity in our communities," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents MBC investigators and DOJ agents. "This case involved numerous law enforcement agencies and numerous suspects, six of whom have already been sentenced to prison. Unfortunately there is no shortage of this type of criminal activity in our state, which means we need every investigator and agent we can get."
It is expected, Brown will remain out of custody until he is sentenced on September 22, 2014. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for illegally causing the dispensing of a controlled substance and a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $500,000 fine for structuring currency transactions to avoid a reporting requirement. Brown also agreed to forfeit more than $182,000 and three BMW sedans that were involved in or obtained as a result of his criminal activity.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Medical Board of California and the California DOJ Bureau of Investigation.