APRIL 25 (ALEXANDRIA, Va.) – Larren Wade, 55, of Venice, Fl., a former doctor who had a medical practice in Alexandria, Va., was sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute oxycodone.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Robert Brisolari, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division; Earl Cook, Alexandria Chief of Police; and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement after the sentenced was pronounced by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
According to court documents, Wade admitted that between March and July 2010, he issued thousands of prescriptions for pain medications, sometimes exceeding 2,000 pills per patient each month. Wade frequently issued these prescriptions without conducting a physical examination, without reviewing prior medical records, and without establishing a treatment plan. During this time, Wade also operated an almost strictly cash business and would typically see between 30 and 50 patients per day, but in at least one instance saw more than 100 patients in a single day and collected nearly $10,000 in cash.
Court records indicate that Wade was the subject of an undercover operation by law enforcement officials, and he issued numerous prescriptions for oxycodone to two undercover officers for no legitimate medical purpose. In addition, the undercover officers asked if they could obtain a prescription for a “friend” who did not exist. As a part of the conspiracy, two prescriptions for oxycodone were written for the fictitious patient after an $85 office visit fee was paid. After the transaction was completed, Wade created a patient file for the fictitious patient.
Oxycodone is the active ingredient in brand name pills such as OxyContin, Roxicodone and Percocet. It is a Schedule II controlled substance and can be useful in assisting with pain management issues; however, it has a high potential for abuse and abuse of the drug can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Washington Field Division, FBI’s Washington Field Office, Virginia State Police, and the Alexandria Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey Luck and Elizabeth N. Eriksen are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Cotton Candy, which has been focusing on the illegal distribution by numerous doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and patients of pain medication. This OCDETF matter has secured more than 200 drug-trafficking convictions and guilty pleas.