LaSalle County Physician Guilty of Illegally Dispensing Prescription Medications
CHICAGO — A LaSalle County physician admitted in federal court today that he illegally dispensed prescription medications, including opioids, to patients in exchange for cash or sex.
In the summer of 2013 CONSTANTINO PERALES, M.D., illegally prescribed Oxycodone and Xanax to a co-defendant, ANDREW STRANDELL, knowing that Strandell would sell the pills on the black market, according to Perales’ plea agreement. Strandell would then pay Perales approximately $15-20 per pill for some of the pills that Strandell was able to sell, the plea agreement states.
Perales also admitted in the plea agreement that from 2011 to 2013 he illegally dispensed opioids and other controlled substances to three opioid-dependent patients in exchange for sex. Perales required the individuals to have sex with him in order to continue receiving the medications, the plea agreement states. Perales knew these patients were addicted to the pills, yet he dispensed the medications without performing a medical examination or ordering any diagnostic tests to manage their conditions, the plea agreement states.
Perales, 66, of Peru, Ill., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The conviction is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve set sentencing for March 22, 2018, at 10:15 a.m.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Dennis A. Wichern, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Substantial assistance was provided by the Peru, Ill., Police Department, and the LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Perales’ Illinois medical license was suspended and he surrendered his DEA Registration Certificate after federal and local authorities executed a search warrant at his office in Peru, Ill., in August 2013.
Strandell, 36, of Sandwich, Ill., pleaded guilty earlier this year to the same conspiracy charge as Perales. The Court has not yet scheduled Strandell’s sentencing hearing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Sawyer and Kathryn Malizia.