On November 19th, 2020

Former O.C. Physician Assistant Admits to Knowingly Writing Opioid Prescriptions to Dealers Who Later Sold the Drugs on the Street California Department of Health Care Services assisted with this investigation

SANTA ANA – On November 18, 2020, a former physician assistant at a Fountain Valley medical clinic pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he conspired to issue and sell prescriptions for oxycodone, a highly addictive opioid painkiller, without a medical purpose, to drug dealers, knowing the drugs would be sold on the street.

Raif Wadie Iskander, 54, formerly of Ladera Ranch, but who now resides in Ennis, Montana, pleaded guilty via video conference to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.

According to his plea agreement, from 2018 to April 2019, Iskander, who was a licensed physician assistant in California, wrote prescriptions for “patients” he had never met or examined, including an undercover law enforcement officer. Iskander provided to drug dealers multiple paper prescriptions that he had signed, but with the patient names left blank, to be filled in by drug dealers later.

In exchange for cash, Iskander wrote fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions for co-defendants Johnny Gilbert Alvarez, 40, a.k.a. “M.J.,” of Santa Ana, and Adam Anton Roggero, 37, of Costa Mesa, who sold the prescribed drugs on the street as well as to an undercover officer, according to the plea agreement.

“We place a great deal of trust in our medical professionals and expect that they will fulfill their oath to put the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all, first,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Contributing to the growing problem of prescription drug abuse goes against that oath and hurts individuals and communities.”

Iskander admitted he knew that the oxycodone filled from the prescriptions would be sold to drug customers who were not using the oxycodone for legitimate medical purposes and whom defendant had never met or examined.

Iskander is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26, 2021,  at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Roggero pleaded guilty on October 20th to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Alvarez is scheduled to go to trial on March 9, 2021.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Costa Mesa Police Department, and the California Department of Health Care Services.

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