IRVINE, Calif. (FOX 11) - Authorities have arrested a Southern California doctor on charges of doling out illegal prescriptions they say were part of a pattern that led to five fatal overdoses and the death of a bicyclist who was struck by a driver under the influence.
Federal agents swarmed the offices and home of an Orange County doctor Tuesday.
“You take your kids to school and you come back and there’s police cars and guys in unmarked vans and jackets,” said Dave Hansen who lives down the street.
A press release from the Department of Justice informed that Dr. Dzung Ahn Pham, 57, of Tustin was arrested Tuesday morning because ‘Pham was selling prescriptions to “patients” who were drug addicts and/or who were selling the drugs on the black market.’”
An affidavit from the DOJ links Dr. Pham to a man accused of hitting and killing Mike Kreza, a Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Captain in November.
The document also includes a surprising text Dr. Pham allegedly sent to someone about the Borderline Bar and Grille Shooter.
“One of my patient just told me that the thousand oak shooter, Ian David Long, had my prescription bottles that belonged to some else. I never saw Mr. Long before, so I don’t know the implication of this information.”
Dr. Pham accused of selling prescriptions for ‘addarall, oxycodone, tramadol, suboxone, norco, soma, alprazolam, and hydrocodone bitartrate-acetaminophen.”
“It’s a shock to al of us,” said Dr. Pham’s oldest son, who didn’t want to share his name.
“To me he has always been my role model as a hard working family doctor. Given the fact that the D.A. was here, I have reason to suspect a lot of the things he is accused of are true.”
Dr. Pham made his first appearance in U.S. District Court Tuesday. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in a prison.
An email message seeking comment to Pham's attorney was not immediately returned.
"This case clearly and tragically illustrates the dangers of drug dealers armed with prescription pads," said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. "This doctor is accused of flooding Southern California with huge quantities of opioids and other dangerous narcotics by writing prescriptions for drugs he knew would be diverted to the street. Prosecutors in my office, working with their law enforcement partners, will tirelessly pursue everyone involved in the trafficking of opioids as part of our persistent and ongoing efforts to stop the trail of misery that follows these dangerous drugs."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.