Choosing a pediatrician is one of the most carefully considered decisions parents make. Parents put an enormous amount of trust in their children’s doctors, because they literally put the children’s lives in their hands. A parent likes to think the pediatrician he or she chose for his or her child is trustworthy, competent and well-educated. It is almost unthinkable for a pediatrician to be involved in drug activity, but one New Jersey doctor was recently arrested for drug distribution.
A 60-year-old pediatric gastroenterologist was arrested after visiting multiple New Jersey pharmacies with two other men in what police say was an attempt to collect a supply of several prescription drugs. According to reports, the trio went from pharmacy to pharmacy to gather a wide combination of medications, including Xanax, Adderall, gabapentin, oxycodone and other highly-controlled substances for nonmedical reasons. Reportedly, one of the men had successfully received a large supply of three different drugs before group was arrested.
The doctor was charged with attempted distribution of a painkiller and distribution of other drugs for nonmedical reasons. He was charged on three counts. If convicted, each count could cost him up to a maximum of 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
In addition to the criminal charges, the doctor also faces punishment by the medical licensing board. He lost his ability to prescribe medications and had his medical license indefinitely suspended. He is also required to enter a treatment program and is not allowed to take certain medications.
At 60 years old most people are making plans to retire and enjoy the rest of their lives free from the pressures and restrictions of the workplace. For this pediatric gastroenterologist, his final years could hold far fewer trips to the beach and far more trips to the yard. He is, however, presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. With help from a knowledgeable defense attorney, he, like others facing similar drug distribution charges, has an opportunity to clarify his side of the story and mount a solid defense that can help protect the future he worked so long and hard for.