West Virginia physician indicted for illegally distributing drugs
CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Dr. Felix Brizuela, Jr., a Pennsylvania physician operating offices in West Virginia, was indicted by a grand jury today on charges of illegally distributing controlled substances, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.
Brizuela, age 59, of Harrison City, Pennsylvania, was indicted on one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice” and six counts of “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice.”
Brizuela is accused of conspiring with three others not charged in this indictment to illegally distribute controlled substances from a drug treatment center, Advance Healthcare, Inc., in Weirton, West Virginia from 2009 to 2016.
Brizuela faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the charges. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Wagner and Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, WV Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Fraud Division, WV Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Office of Ohio Attorney General Health Care Fraud, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the Hancock-Brook-Weirton Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the Greater Harrison County Drug Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, West Virginia State Police, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and the Weirton Police Department investigated.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.