LOS ANGELES – A former physician was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison for illegally prescribing and distributing the semi-synthetic opioid painkiller oxycodone to buyers who visited his Victorville medical office.
Wendell Mark Street, 71, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu.
Street pleaded guilty in August 2019 to two counts of knowingly and intentionally prescribing and distributing oxycodone to patients without a legitimate medical purpose.
While Street was a licensed anesthesiologist, on August 1, 2013, he sold two prescriptions for $300 each to a confidential informant and an undercover investigator with the California Medical Board. The pills contained the opioid oxycodone and alprazolam, which has the brand name Xanax.
He wrote the prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose and intentionally acted outside the usual course of professional practice, including by failing to conduct a physical examination, establish diagnostic testing, provide a treatment plan, and create documentation to establish a medication indication for the prescriptions.
The investigation showed that Street prescribed 7,769 prescriptions for narcotics, including 437,000 doses of oxycodone, from November 2012 to November 2013.
In April 2016, Street surrendered his medical license.
“A doctor holds a position of trust over his patients and with the government, which grants him the authority to write prescriptions for controlled substances for the medical needs of his patients,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “[Street] violated his position of trust by selling prescription, thereby placing the lives of his patients at risk.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Jason C. Pang of the Major Frauds Section prosecuted this case.