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A Los Angeles-area doctor has agreed to plead guilty to a federal drug trafficking charge for illegally distributing the powerful painkiller best known by the brand names Vicodin and Norco. The DEA announced that Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada, will enter guilty pleas to one count of distribution of hydrocodone and one count of money laundering.  Sun, who operated medical clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, was named in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury about three months ago.

Sun admits that he prescribed these drugs from the early 2011 through June 2012, and did so outside the usual course of professional practice without a legitimate medical purpose.  Sun also admitted to issuing a dozen prescriptions to “patients” who were actually undercover law enforcement officers, as well as disguising over $550,000 in cash received for issuing such prescriptions. Sun also agreed to forfeit proceeds he earned from his illegal medical practice, including approximately $342,000 seized from his accounts in July 2012.

Sun could face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the distribution count, and 20 years for the money laundering charge.  Sun also agreed to cooperate in any action taken by the Medical Board to revoke his medical license.

The investigation into Sun was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS – Criminal Investigation, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.