Published : Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | 11:12 AM
In what she called an effort to save lives and shut down the illegal distribution of narcotics, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey Tuesday asked members of the public to report the illegal trafficking and over-prescription of opioids to her office for possible criminal prosecution.
“We must do everything in our power to stop the flow of these deadly drugs into our community, whether they are bought illegally on the streets or legally with a valid prescription,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Reporting this crime will help us save lives.”
District Attorney Lacey is asking anyone with non-emergency information about the illegal trafficking or over-prescription of opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl to provide prosecutors with information and documentation of these alleged crimes.
Her office aggressively prosecutes both manufacturers and sellers of illegal narcotics and those who unlawfully prescribe controlled substances. Significant prosecutions include:
• Dr. Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng, who ran a storefront medical office in Rowland Heights, was convicted in 2015 of three felony counts of second-degree murder in the 2009 overdose deaths of three young men, ages 21, 24 and 28. She was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison.
• Dr. Gerard Goryl, who ran a diet clinic in Redondo Beach, pleaded no contest to 38 felony counts in connection with selling hydrocodone and Xanax to undercover officers without any physical examination or medical need. He was sentenced in 2017 to seven years in custody.
• Dr. Yahya Hedvat, who sold prescriptions to undercover officers from his medical clinic in Encino, was convicted of unlawfully prescribing controlled substances in 2014 and sentenced to two years in county jail.
• Dr. Richard Kim, a general practitioner in Rancho Palos Verdes, was found guilty of illegally prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical need to undercover officers. He was sentenced in 2016 to three years in county jail and two years of mandatory supervision.
In 2017, 447 people died in Los Angeles County due to opioid-related overdoses – a 61% increase from 2015, according to California Department of Public Health data.
To report this crime, members of the public may submit written non-emergency complaints with documentation to the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, 211 West Temple Street, Third Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Complaints must include details of the incident, including names, dates and copies of supporting evidence, such as photographs, prescriptions, statements and receipts.
For more information on the complaint process and to print a complaint form, please visit the District Attorney’s website at http://da.lacounty.gov.
About the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation. Her staff of nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 support staff members is dedicated to protecting our community through the fair and ethical pursuit of justice and the safeguarding of crime victims’ rights.