LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Doctors were caught up alongside suspected drug traffickers in a crackdown on the opioid black market in Los Angeles this week.
Six people — including several doctors, physician assistants and suspected drug traffickers — were arrested this week by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration during Operation “Hypocritical Oath,” a play on the Hippocratic Oath that doctors swear by to “do no harm” to their patients.
With 10 search warrants also executed this week as part of the crackdown, prosecutors say they now have criminal cases against three others, two of whom are doctors, for a total of nine defendants facing charges of diverting highly addictive opioids to the black market.
“We fight opioid epidemic not only with interdictions and with dismantling drug trafficking organizations, but also by sending a stern message, a stern message to corrupt doctors who seek to profit from spreading addiction,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said at a news conference after the raid at the Northridge home of one of the doctors who was arrested.
Operation “Hypocritical Oath” led to arrests of medical professionals across the region, from a Kaiser Permanente doctor in Corona accused of illegally distributing hydrocodone to a Del Mar woman who allegedly used her former position at a Beverly Hills doctor’s office to steal a signature stamp and prescription pad to write fraudulent prescriptions.