Monday, May 12, 2008

78-Year-Old Doc in Jail for Prescription Fatality

Following a 10-month investigation, California Department of Justice special agents arrested Dr. Wesley Albert, 78, in Lake Elsinore for reportedly writing large quantities of prescription drugs which led to an individual's death in Riverside last year.

The California Department of Justice opened its investigation into Dr. Albert’s medical practice after a former patient was arrested in Encinitas in April 2007 for possessing controlled prescription drugs. Undercover agents reportedly discovered that Dr. Albert was running a prescription mill from his room at the Lake Elsinore Casino and Hotel in which he reportedly churned out hundreds of prescriptions for dangerous narcotics including Vicodin, Xanax, Soma and Oxycontin.

According to authorities, Dr. Albert routinely prescribed more than 5 times the normal quantity of these drugs, sometimes up to 500 pills per person per month, and pocketed between $50 and $100 cash per prescription.

In November, Jason Morgan, 28, a resident of Riverside, died after Dr. Albert reportedly gave him large prescriptions for Soma, also known as Carisoprodol, which is a centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant prescribed for treatment of acute, musculoskeletal pain. Investigators found Jason Morgan with 30 bottles of narcotics that Dr. Albert had reportedly prescribed.

Agents charged Dr. Albert with second degree murder, Penal Code Section 187(a), for prescribing medication without pathology. He was booked into Riverside County Jail in Murrieta. Bail is set for $2 million.

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