An 81-year-od Los Angeles doctor was arrested Wednesday, October 15, 2014, along with three other individuals, for allegedly running or participating in a widespread oxycodone prescription drug ring, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
This case is being investigated by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the California Medical Board (MBC) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The 48-count felony complaint filed Oct. 8 alleges that individuals would go to Dr. Clyde Arnold’s clinic in Los Angeles and receive multiple prescriptions for the maximum amount of oxycodone permitted by prescription, along with anti-anxiety medication, muscle relaxants and prescription cough syrup.
The individuals would then fill the prescriptions at local pharmacies and resell the pills on the street, according to prosecutors. This allegedly occurred between December 2012 and January 2013. Law enforcement officers seized thousands of pills during raids on the suspects’ homes along with $10,000 in cash and more than 50 stolen identifications.
"It is unfathomable that a health care professional put in the position of trust to care for the health and well-being of patients and people, would contribute to the growing prescription drug abuse in this state and our country," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association which represents DHCS and MBC investigators. "These individuals must be investigated, arrested, prosecuted and sent away. Simply put, they're drug dealers."
Arnold is charged with 31 felony counts – 27 counts of prescribing without a legitimate medical purpose and four counts of conspiracy. If convicted, he faces up to 22 years in jail.
Also charged are:
Margarita Ray, 71, of Los Angeles - nine felony counts including possession for sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy - If convicted, she faces up to 10 years, eight months in jail.
Fredrick Hagen, 62, of Los Angeles - six felony counts including possession for sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy - If convicted, he faces up to nine years in jail.
Clintessa Williams, 25, of Lakewood - six felony counts including possession for sale of a controlled substance and ID theft - If convicted, she faces up to eight years, eight months in jail.
As of October 16, two other individuals are charged but had not been arrested.