Former Nurse Practitioner to Serve Forty-One Month Federal Prison Sentence for Illegal Distribution of Oxycodone
ALBUQUERQUE – Gloria Vigil, 63, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced earlier today to 41 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute oxycodone outside the scope and usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. Vigil’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso Field Division of the DEA.
Vigil was arrested on federal drug trafficking charges in July 2010, and subsequently was charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and the unlawful distribution of oxycodone. At the time of her arrest, Vigil was a nurse practitioner.
The charges against Vigil were arrested as the result of a DEA into a prescription drug trafficking ring operating out of Vigil’s medical office, Clinica de la Gloria (Clinic of Glory), in southwest Albuquerque. According to court filings, Vigil had engaged in a pattern and practice of writing fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone for individuals who were never treated by her and did not have any medical provider-patient relationship with her medical office. Vigil also sold fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions for up to $250 each, and enlisted others to help her distribute oxycodone.
Vigil pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in May 2011. In entering her guilty plea, Vigil acknowledged that she operated her own medical clinic in Albuquerque and that, as a nurse practitioner, she was permitted by law to write prescriptions for controlled substances in the scope of her medical practice. Vigil admitted writing and providing prescriptions for oxycodone for individuals with whom she had no patient/provider relationship and for whom she did not believe such drugs were medically necessary. She further admitted that these individuals would provide her with names and dates of birth of others in whose names she would write prescriptions. In order to avoid detection, Vigil created patient charts in each of these names so as to make it appear that she had a legitimate patient/provider relationship with these individuals. In exchange for writing these fraudulent prescriptions, Vigil, received payment in cash.
Vigil also admitted that, on two occasions in June 2010, she met with an individual for whom she had written numerous prescriptions for oxycodone in the past, and that, on these two occasions, she wrote a total of nine prescriptions for oxycodone various names provided to her by the individual. These prescriptions were written outside the scope of her medical practice and without any legitimate medical justification. Vigil later learned that this individual was working as an informant for the DEA.
Vigil has been in federal custody since entering her guilty plea.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson and was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the DEA in cooperation with the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico Board of Pharmacy, and the Albuquerque Office of the FBI.
For more information on oxycodone and other drugs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA El Paso Division encourage parents and their children to visit the following interactive DEA websites: www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.