Inland Empire Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics Charges for Stealing Doctors’ IDs to Obtain Medication to Sell on the Darknet
LOS ANGELES – A Riverside County man pleaded guilty today to two federal drug trafficking charges, one of which involves the theft of at least nine doctors’ DEA numbers and dates of birth that he used to obtain oxycodone and other prescription medications that he later sold on the darknet.
Christopher Lazenby, 29, of Homeland, pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and oxycodone.
According to his plea agreement, Lazenby perpetrated his scheme by stealing the identities of at least nine doctors and one physician’s assistant, which allowed him to use the Drug Enforcement Administration’s online registration system to change the addresses of eight doctors to mailboxes he had rented in South Los Angeles and Carson. Lazenby changed the address of a ninth doctor to show his medical office was a room at a Motel 6 in Inglewood, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint in the case.
With official records showing new addresses for the doctors, Lazenby – who used the aliases “Jamey Neher,” “Bryan Sheldon,” and “Colin Bohlinger” – forged the doctors’ signatures on counterfeit prescriptions and ordered oxycodone, hydrocodone and Adderall to be sent to the addresses he controlled, the plea agreement states. Lazenby admitted that after he received the narcotics, he used the dark web and Craigslist to advertise the drugs for sale.
Lazenby was arrested on October 3, 2018 at his hotel room in Torrance, which he had rented using an alias, the plea agreement states. During searches of his hotel room and car, law enforcement seized narcotics including 196 grams of methamphetamine, oxycodone pills, prescription pads in the names of the identity theft victim doctors, rubber stamps in the names of ID theft victim doctors (which Lazenby used to fraudulently sign the counterfeit prescriptions), and computer equipment, according to the plea agreement.
United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson scheduled a February 10, 2020 sentencing hearing, at which time Lazenby will face a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin R. Barron, chief of the Santa Ana Branch Office.