FEB 12 (ALEXANDRIA, Va.) – Larren Wade, 55, of Venice, Fla., a former doctor who had a medical practice in Alexandria, Va., pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute oxycodone.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Robert Brisolari, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Washington Field Division; Earl Cook, Alexandria Chief of Police; and Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
“Larren Wade not only violated his oath as a doctor, he violated the law when he provided a highly addictive drug to individuals for no legitimate medical reason,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “The abuse of prescription pills has had a devastating impact on our community, and we will continue to pursue unethical doctors who sell the drugs for their own profit.”
“Larren Wade selfishly exploited his profession by operating a drug distribution business that supplied dangerous prescription pain killers to individuals with no valid medical need,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “As demonstrated by over 200 convictions and guilty pleas in Operation Cotton Candy, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force is committed to the pursuit of prescription drug abuse and the FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our community from the dangers of these crimes.”
Wade faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 17, 2013.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Wade admitted that between March and July 2010, he issued thousands of prescriptions for pain medications, sometimes exceeding 2,000 pills per patient each month. Wade frequently issued these prescriptions without conducting a physical examination, without reviewing prior medical records, and without establishing a treatment plan. During this time, Wade also operated an almost strictly cash business and would typically see between 30 and 50 patients per day, but in at least one instance saw more than 100 patients in a single day and collected nearly $10,000 in cash.
Court records indicate that Wade was the subject of an undercover operation by law enforcement officials, and he issued numerous prescriptions for oxycodone to two undercover officers for no legitimate medical purpose. In addition, the undercover officers asked if they could obtain a prescription for a “friend” who did not exist. Wade provided two prescriptions for oxycodone for the fictitious patient after an $85 office visit fee was paid. After the transaction was completed, Wade created a patient file for the fictitious patient.
Oxycodone is the active ingredient in brand name pills such as OxyContin, Roxicodone and Percocet. It is a Schedule II controlled substance and can be useful in assisting with pain management issues; however, it has a high potential for abuse and abuse of the drug can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Washington Field Division, FBI’s Washington Field Office, Virginia State Police, and the Alexandria Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Stacey Luck and Elizabeth N. Eriksen are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Cotton Candy, which has been focusing on the illegal distribution by numerous doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and patients of pain medication. This OCDETF matter has secured more than 200 drug-trafficking convictions and guilty pleas.