SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Jerome Michael Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Caribbean Division, Drug Enforcement Administration DEA, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Velez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, and Ralph Culkin, Resident Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations announced the indictment of seven doctors licensed to practice medicine in Puerto Rico. Charges include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, wire fraud, and money laundering. In addition, a forfeiture allegation in the amount of $3.3 million dollars was also included in the indictment.
Those arrested (location of arrest) as part of DEA’s Operation Click4Drugs are:
Dr. Alfred Valdivieso-Rodriguez (Tampa, Florida)
Dr. Juan A. Tosado-Polanco (Santa Isabel, PR)
Blanca I. Plaza-Rodriguez (Dorado, PR)
Maileen Lugo-Torres (Cabo Rojo, PR)
Abelardo E. Lecompte-Torres (Ponce, PR)
Norberto J. Seda-Olmo (Parma Heights, Ohio)
Juan M. Ramos-Gonzalez (Houston, Texas)
Operation Click 4 Drugs targeted an organization which distributed large quantities of Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances via the internet. These doctors issued thousands of illegal prescriptions through the internet for drugs such as Hydrocodone, Phentermine and Diazepam. The physicians were involved with Internet Facilitation Centers and Internet pharmacies that solicited customers throughout the United States who were seeking controlled substances. These centers would then refer the customers to these physicians using numerous web sites and e-mail addresses. The doctors would review on-line questionnaires and electronically approve a prescription via the internet. Then pharmacies in the United States would ship the controlled substances via private carriers to customers in numerous jurisdictions within the 50 states.
These physicians prescribed controlled substances and dangerous drugs to internet customers without establishing patient history, performing a mental or physical exam, using appropriate diagnostic or laboratory testing, or providing a means to monitor medication response. The prescriptions were issued after only an alleged internet consultation and without a legitimate medical purpose.
These physicians issued prescriptions in states where they did not possess a license to practice medicine or a DEA registration to lawfully handle controlled substances which is in violation of the Controlled Substance Act.
The indictment was issued by a federal grand jury on January 26 and is the culmination of a two- year joint investigation led by the DEA San Juan Diversion Tactical Group and the FDA/OCI San Juan Resident Office with the assistance of the National Drug Intelligence Center, Document Exploitation Unit.