Denver doctor pleads guilty to illegally prescribing controlled substances
Dr. Andrew Mark Ho prescribed “Holy Trinity” cocktail of drugs to patients
DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Dr. Andrew Mark Ho, age 54, of Denver, pled guilty yesterday to illegally dispensing or illegally causing to be dispensed oxycodone, a controlled substance. Ho pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip B. Brimmer. Judge Brimmer is scheduled to sentence Ho on January 10, 2020. The defendant appeared at the change of plea hearing free on bond. The bond was continued at the conclusion of the hearing.
According to the stipulated facts contained in Ho’s plea agreement, Andrew Mark Ho is a medical doctor licensed to practice in the state of Colorado. Ho was registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) until approximately December 13, 2016, authorizing him to write prescriptions for controlled substances on Schedules II through V. He is an owner of and practices at Harvard Avenue Internal Medicine LLC. Dr. Ho stipulated that between 2014 and 2016, he prescribed controlled substances comprising the so-called “Holy Trinity,” outside the scope of accepted medical practice.
The “Holy Trinity” is a colloquial term to describe the prescription of a combination of drugs comprised of a benzodiazepine, an opioid, and a muscle relaxant, which while highly sought out on the street, is especially dangerous because each of those medications depress the central nervous system and the ability to breathe.
“Overprescribing controlled substances, especially prescribing the “Holy Trinity” of prescription drugs is dangerous, and there is no acceptable medical reason to do so,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “In this case, it’s simply flat-out drug dealing and is being treated accordingly.”
“The DEA is committed to identifying the sources of illicit prescribing and will continue to hold providers and distributors accountable for their actions that denigrate this community,” said DEA Denver Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter. “By Dr. Ho relinquishing his ability to prescribe controlled substances, there will be fewer people in this state being provided highly addictive controlled substances for no legitimate medical reason, which in this case resulted in abuse and illegal distribution.”
This case was investigated by the DEA. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hetal J. Doshi and Bryan D. Fields.