GLENDORA (CBS) — Police and federal agents raided the offices Thursday of a Los Angeles-area doctor suspected of illegally prescribing prescriptions.
Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga was arrested following a two-month investigation by Glendora police and the Drug Enforcement Administration that included undercover officers purchasing prescriptions for medications at Atiga’s office, police said.
“I would classify Dr. Atiga as a petty drug dealer, no different than the … drug dealer standing on the street corner. No difference,” Glendora police Capt. Tim Staab said.
Police said Atiga would meet with patients and in exchange for payments of $200 to $400, would write prescriptions for powerful and often addictive pain-killers. After pocketing the money, he would also tell the patients to tip his receptionist $50, Staab said.
As he was led out of his office in handcuffs, Atiga said, “I don’t know what these charges are.”
Staab noted that Atiga asked one of the undercover officers to provide proof that she needed medication, so she showed him a pair of X-rays of her dog, and Atiga quickly agreed to prescribe her hydrocodone.
“For him to look at dog X-rays where clearly you can see the tail of this dog — if any of our eyes can see it’s a dog x-ray — for him to look at it, comment, `Oh yeah, I can see why you’re in pain,’ and issue her a very addictive painkiller, one of two conclusions could be made: Either Sparky the dog, you know, really, really, badly needs Percocet or this doctor is a petty drug dealer masquerading as a physician,” Staab said.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)