AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Ventura County deputies claim an Agoura Hills doctor has spent years overprescribing prescription drugs and that he’s linked to at least two overdoses.
Dr. Terry Stanger, 67, was charged Tuesday with dealing drugs and money laundering.
A Ventura County task force and a pharmaceutical crime unit conducted a 3-year-long investigation into Stanger, who they say was illegally mailing prescriptions throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as distributing locally.
Investigators raided Stanger’s now-defunct Ventura office and seized 25,000 pills, said Capt. Don Aguilar of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. They also seized hundreds of thousands of dollars that detectives say was laundered.
Stanger was allegedly prescribing opiates, anti-depressants and other drugs, without legitimate medical reasons.
“There are several overdoses that resulted in death that we believe are related to his overprescribing of medication of these highly addictive drugs,” Aguilar said.
The internal medicine doctor now practices out of an office at Providence Tarzana Garden Plaza.
Stanger’s Agoura Hills neighbors didn’t want to go on camera but told us they weren’t surprised by the 15 felony charges the doctor is facing.
Stanger wouldn’t reply to requests for an interview but his defense attorney Steve Meister spoke to CBS2/KCAL9 about the case.
“It doesn’t make sense to me for law enforcement to step in and presume to know more about medical practice than a doctor when it comes to ‘legitimate medical purpose,'” Meister said.
Meister said his client has been cooperating with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office for a year.
“No one’s arresting the executives of Purdue who’s making Oxycontin. Instead, they’re going after my client, who’s a good, innocent man, with no criminal history, who I’m confident will be exonerated,” Meister said.
Stanger is still practicing medicine. He’s set to appear in court next month.