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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Charleston doctor pleads guilty to Federal crime involving dispensing fentanyl

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston doctor pleaded guilty today to a federal crime involving the illegal dispensing of fentanyl. Dr. Iraj Derakhshan, 72, entered his guilty plea to violating reporting requirements mandated by federal drug laws for dispensing controlled substances.   

Dr. Derakhshan admitted that on June 18, 2015, he obtained fentanyl from one of his patients. The patient acquired the fentanyl from a prescription written by Dr. Derakhshan, and was returning the unused portion of the prescription to Dr. Derakhshan because the patient had an adverse reaction to the drug. On the same day, Dr. Derakhshan admitted to illegally dispensing the unused fentanyl to a different patient. He also admitted that he was never authorized to dispense controlled substances. Dr. Derakhshan further admitted to knowingly and intentionally failing to report and maintain a record of this dispensing of fentanyl as required by federal law. The dispensing was also unlawful because it was not done by authorized prescription and was not presented to a pharmacy to be filled. One of the reasons for these requirements is so that prescription drugs can be properly traced and recorded by the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

Dr. Derakhshan faces up to four years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on July 8, 2016. As part of the plea agreement, Dr. Derakhshan will permanently surrender his DEA Certificate of Registration and not oppose revocation of his registration to dispense controlled substances. Dr. Derakhshan agreed that one of the grounds for the revocation is being convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance.

The investigation of Dr. Derakhshan was conducted by the DEA. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case was brought as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District. 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Updated April 21, 2016