A former doctor who illegally prescribed hundreds of thousands of opioids at his Victorville office has been sentenced to federal prison.
Wendell Mark Street, 71, of Las Vegas was sentenced to 18 months in prison for illegally prescribing oxycodone “without a legitimate medical purpose,” the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
Street intentionally acted outside the usual course of professional practice, by failing to conduct a physical examination, establish diagnostic testing, provide a treatment plan, and create documentation to establish a medication indication for the prescriptions, the DOJ stated.
“A doctor holds a position of trust over his patients and with the government, which grants him the authority to write prescriptions for controlled substances for the medical needs of his patients,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “[Street] violated his position of trust by selling prescription, thereby placing the lives of his patients at risk.”
The investigation showed that Street prescribed 7,769 prescriptions for narcotics, including 437,000 doses of oxycodone, from November 2012 to November 2013.
Putting his patients 'at risk'
Street’s sentencing, by U.S. District Judge George Wu, comes four years after the former doctor pleaded guilty to two charges of knowingly and intentionally prescribing and distributing oxycodone to patients, the DOJ said.
The former anesthesiologist sold two prescriptions for oxycodone and alprazolam (Xanax) for $300 each to an undercover investigator with the California Medical Board, according to the DOJ report.
The investigators posed as patients in August 2013 and documented their interactions with the doctor via video and audio, the Daily Press reported.
One investigator, posing as “DeAndre Dotson,” requested a prescription for OxyContin, the brand name for oxycodone, telling Street he suffered from “bad headaches,” according to the report.
Street instead diagnosed the “patient” with lumbar strain without performing a physical exam or testing. The investigator gave him $300 in cash and Street wrote him the prescription.
A second time, the investigator went into Street’s office and gave his receptionist $200 in cash and received another prescription without even seeing the doctor, the report read.
Street surrendered his medical license in 2016.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Former Victorville doctor sentenced for illegally prescribing opioids