VENTURA COUNTY — In the eyes of the law, the distinction between a common drug dealer purveying controlled substances on the city streets and a licensed physician writing bogus prescriptions is not as great as one might think.
Evidence of that came with the December 22nd arrest of Paul Duran, a 50-year-old physician with offices in Thousand Oaks pursuant to an ongoing investigation into his activities that began in February 2016. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Sgt. Vincent Fazio, that investigation “into the illicit sales of pharmaceutical drugs on the streets of Oxnard and Ventura” identified Duran as “the source of supply.”
Already on probation with the California Medical Board pursuant to prior violations in 2005 which restricted him “from supervising physician assistants and engaging in the solo practice of medicine,” Duran became the focus of multiple undercover operations in which purchases were made from him “at his office where he’d write prescriptions for opioids, and benzodiazepines” without benefit of any medical exam “or any semblance of the practice of medicine.”
With that evidence in hand, VCSD detectives served search warrants on Duran’s office and residence and discovered “additional evidence” of illicit pharmaceutical sales. He promptly surrendered his DEA registration and was promptly booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of sales of controlled substances, with his bail set at $50,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking