O.C. Physician Assistant Arrested on Federal Charges Alleging He Wrote Opioid Prescriptions to Drug Dealers without Medical Need
SANTA ANA, California – A physician assistant who practiced at a Fountain Valley clinic was arrested today on an 11-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with conspiring to issue prescriptions for the highly addictive opioid painkiller oxycodone, without a medical purpose, to drug dealers in exchange for cash, knowing the drugs would be sold on the street.
Raif Wadie Iskander, 53, of Ladera Ranch, was arrested at his residence this morning. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon and he also will be arraigned on the charges in United States District Court in Santa Ana.
According to the indictment, from October 2018 until April 2019, Iskander wrote prescriptions for “patients” he had never met or examined, including an undercover law enforcement officer. Iskander allegedly provided to drug brokers multiple paper prescriptions that he had signed, but with the patient names left blank, to be filled in by the drug brokers later.
In exchange for cash, Iskander wrote fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions to co-defendants Johnny Gilbert Alvarez, 39, a.k.a. “M.J.,” of Santa Ana, and Adam Anton Roggero, 36, of Costa Mesa, who sold the prescribed drugs on the street as well as to an undercover officer, the indictment alleges.
All three defendants have been charged with one count of conspiracy. Iskander also has been charged with two counts of intentionally distributing oxycodone without a medical purpose. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Alvarez faces felony counts of illegally distributing methamphetamine, fentanyl, and oxycodone. Roggero also has been charged with two felony drug distribution counts.
If convicted of all charges, Iskander would face a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison. Alvarez would face a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. Roggero would face a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Costa Mesa Police Department, and the California Department of Health Care Services.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rosalind Wang of the Santa Ana Branch Office.