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Former Santa Fe Pharmacist Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced for Conviction on Misdemeanor Charge of Dispensing Testosterone without a Prescription

DEC 13 (ALBUQUERQUE) – David Nunez of Santa Fe, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to the misdemeanor offense of dispensing a controlled substance, testosterone, without a prescription.  Nunez was a licensed pharmacist and the owner of a pharmacy in Santa Fe at the time he committed the crime. 

Immediately following the entry of the guilty plea, a U.S. Magistrate Judge sentenced Nunez under the terms of his plea agreement to a three-year term of probation during which he may not re-apply for a pharmacist license or a DEA registration to dispense controlled substances.  Nunez also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service during his probationary period.

Nunez was charged in Nov. 2015, in a criminal complaint with unlawfully dispensing testosterone without a prescription, possession of a controlled substance (testosterone) with intent to distribute, and conspiracy.  According to the criminal complaint, in 2011, when Nunez was a licensed pharmacist and owner of a pharmacy in Santa Fe, he leased space in his pharmacy to another person (lessee) with the understanding that the lessee would use the space to compound bio-identical hormone replacement creams for distribution by the lessee’s own company.   Nunez agreed to supervise the lessee’s compounding operations and permitted the lessee to use his DEA registration number to order testosterone, a controlled substance, for use in the lessee’s compounding operation. 

During today’s change of plea hearing, Nunez pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor information charging him with the unlawful dispensing of a controlled substance without a prescription.  In his plea agreement, Nunez admitted leasing space to the lessee for the purpose of compounding medications.  Nunez further admitted that in May 2011, he received more than a kilogram of testosterone at his pharmacy which had been ordered by the lessee’s employees using Nunez’s DEA registration number.  Nunez provided the testosterone to the lessee even though he did not process any specific prescriptions for any patients for the testosterone and was not aware of any specific prescriptions for the medication.

The New Mexico Board of Pharmacy suspended Nunez’s pharmacist license in June 2015 as the result of a separate investigation and he subsequently sold his pharmacy. 

This case was investigated by the Tactical Diversion Squad of the DEA’s Albuquerque office, the Food and Drug Administration and the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Rozzoni. 

DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squads combine DEA resources with those of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an innovative effort to investigate, disrupt and dismantle those suspected of violating the Controlled Substances Act or other appropriate federal, state or local statutes pertaining to the diversion of licit pharmaceutical controlled substances or listed chemicals.
 
The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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