Drug Enforcement Administration

Denver

William T. McDermott, Special Agent in Charge

August 27, 2015

Contact: Special Agent Randy Ladd

Phone Number: (720) 895-4040

Montana Doctor Arrested After Two Year Investigation

400 felony charges include negligent homicide

HAMILTON, Mont. - Dr. Chris Arthur Christensen was arrested on August 27, 2015 after a two year investigation into his medical practice and drug trafficking activities.  Christensen faces 400 felony drug charges, including two negligent homicide charges involving drug overdoses. It's alleged the doctor was criminally negligent in prescribing medication.  Christensen was arrested without incident at his Florence home Thursday. His bail was set at $200,000.

“Some overdose deaths we attributed to him actually being the prescribing doctor", stated Barbra Roach, Special Agent in (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver Field Division.  SAC Roach stated that Christensen treated drug addicts "outside his professional practice without any legitimate need", and that the doctor operated on a "cash only" basis.  SAC Roach also noted that besides local patients, Christensen had patients who came to see him from eight other states.

"These 400 felony charges relate to just 11 representative patients of the more than 4,700 medical files seized from his office," said Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright.

"This arrest comes at the end of two years of very hard, technical investigation," said Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman.

Two of those patients died. Documents said Kara Philbrick-Lenker, 43, of Missoula, died in 2013 from a prescription drug overdose, including methadone. In 2012, Gregg Griffin, 38, of Missoula, reportedly died from a "mixed toxicity" drug overdose.

Christensen also faces nine counts of criminal endangerment, 306 counts of illegally distributing opiate based drugs, 82 counts of illegally distributing non-opiate based drugs and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

Since the spring of 2014, Christensen's office, Big Creek Family Medicine and Urgent Care, has remained closed.  Christensen will appear in Ravalli County District Court Friday.

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