News Release
June 2, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Seattle Physicians Plead Guilty to Drug Charges

JUN 2 --(Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin announced that on May 29, 2008, board certified Washington state physicians Lawrence L. Parris, 57, and Lawrence J. Gogenola, 58, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Parris and Gogenola were charged in separate criminal cases and are both set for sentencing in U.S District Court in August 2008. The offense is punishable by up to one year in prison.

According to court records, in 2007, Parris, a medical doctor, was employed at Inglewood Family Health Clinic in Bothell, Washington. From January 2007 to August 2007, Parris unlawfully removed and possessed for his own unlawful use, quantities of Meperidine, in the form of injectable Demerol. Parris concealed his conduct by making false entries in patient records indicating the drugs had been dispensed and administered to patients. In October 2007, Parris admitted to DEA investigators that he had unlawfully taken Demoral at least 6 times from the clinic. Parris surrendered his DEA registration to authorities.

Court records indicate that in 2007, Gogenola, a dermatologist, was employed at Bellevue Dermatology Clinic in Bellevue, Washington. From April 2007 to December 2007, Gogenola wrote prescriptions for 50 pill quantities of Percocet, containing Oxycodone, in the name of the third individual who was not a patient of Gogenola’s. Gogenola then presented the prescriptions at a QFC Pharmacy in Bellevue, Washington, claiming to be the third party for whom the prescriptions were written for. On December 21, 2007, after a botched attempt to obtain a fraudulent prescription, Gogenola was identified as the subject presenting the prescriptions. In January 2008, Gogenola admitted to unlawfully writing all of the prescriptions in the name of the third party, and then consuming the drugs. Gogenola surrendered his DEA registration to authorities.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington.