A Santa Ana-based psychiatrist pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a scheme to disseminate prescriptions for opioids and other drugs for non-medical reasons.
Dr. Robert Tinoco Perez of Westminster, 56, signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors Jan. 28. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances Monday afternoon in a federal courtroom in Santa Ana.
Perez could face at least 57 months behind bars, but his attorneys will get the chance to argue for less time, said defense attorney Kate Corrigan.
“He had seven family members there to support him” in court on Monday, Corrigan said.
“He had some rough times in his life that caused his judgment to be clouded and he’s looking forward to putting this behind him and getting his life back on track. He went from being a very successful, very reputable guy with a lot of patients who relied on him and loved him to somebody being charged. It’s a sad situation, a stunning fall from grace.”
From about 2017 through June 2018, Perez operated the scheme with co-defendant William Jason Plumley, 40, of Huntington Beach, who was sentenced in December to 70 months in prison, and others.
Perez issued prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and amphetamine salts to Plumley and others for recreational purposes, according to his plea agreement.
Perez, for instance, issued a prescription to one man in December 2017 for 60 pills of 30 mg Adderall, “knowing that the drugs would not be used by” the bogus patient, who sold the prescription to Plumley, according to the plea agreement.
Another time that month, he issued a prescription to the same man for 90 pills of 30 mg Roxicodone, and the man sold it to Plumley for about $700, according to the plea agreement.
Plumley asked Perez to issue prescriptions to another person on Dec. 26, 2017, at the defendant’s clinic in Santa Ana, according to the plea deal.
Perez told Plumley to fill out new patient paperwork, prompting Plumley to use a fake name. The doctor issued a prescription for 120 pills of 30 mg Roxicodone and another prescription for 60 pills of 30 mg Adderall in the fake patient’s name for $400, according to the plea agreement.
Perez issued similar types of prescriptions to bogus patients on numerous other occasions, prosecutors said.
Plumley admitted one federal count each of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances on Oct. 9, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosalind Wang.
Plumley also admitted he sold 26.94 grams of methamphetamine on Jan. 16, 2018 in a Super 8 Motel parking lot on Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, according to his plea agreement.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: